Describing the incident, Murdoch said: “It was tight removing it. It was not easy for sure, we had to move it just right to get it off because we weren’t able to cut the steel in the bead of the tire. Fortunately, the bull’s neck still had a little room to move.
“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.”
Murdoch and Swanson were pleasantly surprised to find that the elk’s neck was in good condition after the tire was removed. The elk’s hair had rubbed off a little bit, and there was a small open wound the size of a nickel.
Although the elk will surely miss his antlers, the wildlife team estimate that he will be relieved of a massive 35 pounds between the removal of the tire, his antlers, and the debris.
Murdoch said: “The tire was full of wet pine needles and dirt 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.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife posted videos of the elk on Twitter, which quickly racked up hundreds of thousands of views.
Some asked why the officers removed the animal’s antlers instead of cutting through the tire. The team responded and explained that they were not able to cut the steel in the bead of the tire when they tried.
They tweeted: “They would have preferred to cut the tire and leave the antlers for his rutting activity, but the situation was dynamic and they had to just get the tire off any way possible.”
@ZEBULON_8 Wildlife officers were not able to cut the steel in the bead of the tire when they tried. They would hav… https://t.co/8kFO5qKbbg
Colorado Parks and Wildlife hope that people will be more mindful of their wild neighbors in the future by keeping their property free of obstacles that animals could find themselves tangled in or injured by.
They said that previously, their wildlife officers have seen animals become entangled in a variety of household objects such as hammocks, swing sets, clothing lines, and laundry baskets.
The elk is now reportedly in good condition and is likely very relieved after two tire-ing years of lugging around such an unusual accessory.