What the buck?
An elk roamed around Colorado for at least two years — nearly half its life — with a tire stuck around its neck before wildlife officials removed it, officials said.
The 4 1/2 year old, 600-pound bull elk was first spotted hoofing around the Mount Evans Wilderness with the unwanted accessory during a population survey in July 2019, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in a press release.
To help the rubber-choked critter, officials tranquilized it on private property in Pine Junction on Saturday evening then cut off its antlers to remove the tire.
“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,” officer Scott Murdoch said, adding it wasn’t possible to cut through steel in the bead of the tire.
“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,” he said.
Footage also shows the elk lugging around the tire last year before officials tried unsuccessfully to tranquilize the animal earlier this year.
Officials had no clue how the elk got the tire stuck around its neck.