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Tire stuck around elk’s neck removed after 2 years

A 600-pound elk in Colorado would give a pair of wildlife officers thanks if it could after...
A 600-pound elk in Colorado would give a pair of wildlife officers thanks if it could after they tranquilized the animal and removed a tire that was stuck around its neck.(Pat Hemstreet/Colorado Parks and Wildlife NE Region via CNN Newsource)
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 9:41 AM MDT
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PINE, Colo. (Gray News) - A 600-pound elk in Colorado would give a pair of wildlife officers thanks if it could after they tranquilized the animal and removed a tire that was stuck around its neck.

The elk, believed to be 4 1/2 years old, has been known to officials since a Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer first spotted it two years ago, according to a press release from the department. It had the tire around its neck back then, but no one could get close enough to tranquilize the animal.

Images taken by trail cameras over the years appeared to indicate the tire wasn’t impacting his ability to eat and drink.

Still, officers were worried the tire could eventually get tangled in tree branches or something else in the environment.

A tip from a nearby resident alerted authorities to the elk’s whereabouts last weekend, and they were finally able to tranquilize it.

It was the fourth attempt to tranquilize the animal, the department reported.

Parks and Wildlife officers had to removes the elk’s antlers in order to remove the tire.

The tire was filled with debris, such as pine needles, and left a small wound on the elk’s neck, but officials said he is very good shape and set him free shortly after sliding the tire off his head.

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department estimated the elk shed about 35 pounds with the loss of his antlers, the tire and the debris inside.

The department said the incident is a reminder to residents to be aware of wildlife that cohabitate the area. They recommend residents to keep their yards clear of obstacles, such as hammocks, decorative lighting and volleyball nets, that could injure or tangle up an animal.

Copyright 2021 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. CNN Newsource contributed to this report.