PINE, Colo. (KRDO) -- It's been more than two years since a bull elk with a tire stuck around its neck was spotted near Conifer, but finally, the tire has been removed.
Colorado Parks & Wildlife shared an update Monday saying the bull elk was caught and tranquilized on Saturday evening, and officers were able to remove the tire.
You may remember when we shared video of the bull elk spotted on a wildlife camera last year. Even then, CPW asked for tips on locating the bull elk to get the tire off its neck.
CPW first spotted the elk in July 2019 and tried numerous times to capture it, with four attempts made from May to June this year. The elk was seen again in late September near Pine Junction.
Finally, a break came Saturday when a CPW officer found the bull elk in a herd of about 40 other elk on Saturday.
“I am just grateful to be able to work in a community that values our state’s wildlife resource,” said CPW Officer Dawson Swanson. “I was able to quickly respond to a report from a local resident regarding a recent sighting of this bull elk in their neighborhood.
The officers had to work quickly but they couldn't cut the steel in the tire, so they had to cut the elk's antlers off.
“We would have preferred to cut the tire and leave the antlers for his rutting activity, but the situation was dynamic and we had to just get the tire off in any way possible,” said CPW Officer Scott Murdoch.
The bull elk shed about 35 pounds from the ordeal, counting the antlers, the tire, and a whole bunch of debris inside the tire.
“The tire was full of wet pine needles and dirt,” Murdoch said. “So the 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.”
The saga of the bull elk with a tire around its neck is over. Thanks to the residents just south of Pine Junction on CR 126 for reporting its location, wildlife officers were able to free it of that tire Saturday.— CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) October 11, 2021
📸's courtesy of Pat Hemstreet pic.twitter.com/OcnceuZrpk