Tire removed from Colorado elk neck after more than two years

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CPW has been trying to locate and release the elk for over two years. The tire was full of wet pine needles and dirt.

PINE, Colo .– A moose with a tire around his neck for at least two years has finally been freed from the obstacle.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers were able to tranquilize the bull and remove the tire on Saturday.

Officers had to cut the antlers of the male elk in order to remove the tire. The elk was on private property about a mile south of Pine Junction off County Road 26.

CPW estimated that the bull elk lost approximately 35 pounds between the removal of the tire, its antlers, and the debris inside the tire.

“The tire was full of wet pine needles and dirt,” said Scott Murdock, a CPW officer. “So pine needles, dirt, and other debris basically filled the entire bottom half of the tire. There was probably 10 pounds of debris in the tire.

After the tire was removed, wildlife officers were surprised to see the condition of his neck after using the tire for over two years.

“The hair was a bit rubbed, there was a little open wound maybe the size of a nickel or a quarter, but other than that it looked really good,” Murdoch told About the bull’s neck. “I was actually quite shocked at how beautiful it was. “

Wildlife officers aged the bull when it was 4.5 years old, weighing over 600 pounds. It had five points on each of its wooden beams.

“It was difficult to pull it off,” Murdoch said of removing the tire from the bull’s neck, even after chopping its antlers. “It wasn’t easy for sure, we had to move it just to take it out because we couldn’t cut the steel in the bead of the tire. Fortunately, the bull’s neck still had some room to move. We would have preferred to cut the tire and leave the woods for its rutting activity, but the situation was dynamic and we just had to remove the tire in any way we could. “

RELATED: Elk has been living with a tire around his neck for over a year

The elk was first seen with the tire on in July 2019 by officers investigating the bighorn sheep and mountain goat population in the Mount Evans Wilderness, according to CPW. At the time, the bull appeared to be younger, probably 2 years old.

The elk was also seen by a surveillance camera near Conifer, who picked up the bull with the tire twice in 2020, and another surveillance camera on August 12, 2020.

In late May and June 2021, four attempts were made to catch this bull in the Pleasant Park area of ​​Conifer. Sightings of him resumed in September and early October near the town of Pine.

CPW said this male moose has spent the past two years moving back and forth between Park and Jefferson counties. It would disappear for long periods of time, especially in winter, and act as a wild animal would expect, not wanting to be near human presence.

“In the winter, we received no report on him,” Murdoch said. “In the spring we would get an occasional report or see him in a small herd of singles. The rut definitely made it more visible. There was a bigger bull in the group he was with on Saturday, but he’s growing into a decent sized bull.

CPW said the bull elk saga highlights the need for residents to live responsibly with wildlife in mind. This includes keeping your property free from obstacles that wildlife can become entangled in or injured.

CPW officers saw deer, elk, moose, bears and other wildlife become entangled in a number of man-made obstacles, including swings, hammocks, clothing lines, decorative lighting or parties, furniture, tomato cages, chicken feeders, laundry baskets, soccer goals or volleyball nets and tires.

This momentum would have put the tire around his antlers either when he was very young, before he had antlers, or during the winter when he was losing his antlers.

CPW recommends that if you see wildlife entangled in something or with debris wrapped around it, immediately report it to wildlife officials. This can be accomplished by calling the Denver office of CPW at 303-291-7227.

RELATED: Elk Has Been Living With A Tire Around His Neck For Over A Year

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