Colorado elk: After several attempts, wildlife officers remove tire that was around a bull elk’s neck for over two years


The bull elk was first spotted by a Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officer in 2019 conducting a population survey of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goats in the Mount Evans Wilderness, about 30 miles west of Denver, according to a news release from CPW on Monday.

“Being up in the wilderness, we didn’t really expect to be able to get our hands on the elk just because of the proximity or the distance away from civilization,” CPW officer Scott Murdoch said in the release. “It is harder to get the further they are back in there and usually the further these elk are away from people, the wilder they act. That certainly played true the last couple of years, this elk was difficult to find, and harder to get close to.”

Since then the wild animal has been spotted a handful of times by trail cameras and was known to travel between Park and Jefferson counties, reads the release. Wildlife officials monitored the animal over the years and saw the tire wasn’t affecting its ability to eat and drink. But officials feared that the animal would become tangled in tree branches, fencing or even with another elk’s antlers, according to CPW Public Information Officer, Jason Clay.

CPW released videos and images of the elk through the years in hopes the community would call and report it if seen. Last weekend, a community tip from Pine, Colorado, led wildlife officers to successfully being able to help the 4-year-old.

The first sighting of the elk with the tire around its neck from July 2019.

On Saturday, Murdoch and CPW officer Dawson Swanson safely tranquilized the over 600-pound animal and removed the tire. Officers had to cut off the antlers to slide the tire off.

“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,” Murdoch said in the news release. “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.”

Officers estimated that the tire was filled with 10 pounds of debris and that the elk dropped 35 pounds with the removal of tire and antlers. They also were surprised at the condition of the animal’s neck.

“The hair was rubbed off a little bit. There was one small open wound maybe the size of a nickel or quarter, but other than that it looked really good,” said Murdoch. “I was actually quite shocked to see how good it looked.”

This was the fourth time in a week officers have tired to tranquilize the animal to remove the tire, but several factors including other elk being near hindered efforts.

“Tranquilizer equipment is a relatively short-range tool and given the number of other elk moving together along with other environmental factors, you really need to have things go in your favor to have a shot or opportunity pan out,” said Swanson in the news release.

Wildlife officers Murdoch (left) and Swanson (right) hold up the tire that was on this bull elk for over two years.

Officers said neighbors in the area assisted and that the elk was back on its feet within a matter of minutes, after they administered a tranquilizer reversal.

The mystery remains to how and when the elk got the tire stuck. But CPW said it either happened when the elk was younger or during the winter when it shed its antlers.

Officials said this elk’s saga just highlights the importance for residents to live responsibly with wildlife in mind. They said for people to keep their property free of obstacles wildlife could become entangled in like netting, hammocks, clothing lines and holiday lighting.

CNN’s Leslie Perrot contributed to this report.



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New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world: readers’ travel tips | Christmas and New Year holidays


Winning tip: When Jesus fixed my Jeep, Chile

Our all-girls group’s plans to celebrate New Year’s Eve while camping and stargazing in Chile’s eerie Atacama Desert almost went wrong. Thanks to Jesus, it all worked out. Our tight budget led us to rent a Jeep from a backstreet car-hire firm in San Pedro. Result – a breakdown in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, a friendly group of locals led by the aptly named Jesus, who had some mechanical knowledge, were also heading out to the desert and stopped to help us. Result: a shared trip, wine, food, campfires and songs in English and Spanish under the mystical Atacama skies to see out and welcome in the year in a stunning setting and with great company.
Yasmin Cox

Cold night with hot music, New Orleans

The Rock’n’Bowl in New Orleans.
‘Overrun with revellers’: the Rock’n’Bowl in New Orleans. Photograph: Ebet Roberts/Redferns

One New Year’s Eve in the early 2000s, my partner and I were housesitting a friend’s shack in New Orleans. The temperature had plunged to -5C, remarkable for Nola. Totally unprepared for this unusual cold, we put on our onesie long johns and walked to Mid-City Lanes Rock‘n’Bowl. We rented a lane, ordered po’ boys (a Louisiana sandwich) and beers, bowled, and wandered downstairs to hear legendary local singer and guitarist Snooks Eaglin (sadly no longer with us). Around 10pm, the Iguanas came onstage and the bowling lanes were overrun with revellers juggling food, drinks and kids while dancing to the Latin-tinged R&B groove music. New Year’s Eve, but just a normal night a Noo Or-lins.
Donna J Hall

Out with the old, Bologna

New Year’s Eve in Bologna.
New Year’s Eve in Bologna, when the burning of a large puppet is part of the festivities. Photograph: Getty Images

To see in 2019 we went to beautiful Bologna where there is a traditional burning of a huge effigy of a man – known as the vecchione (the old one) – in the square at midnight. This symbolises the discarding of all the bad things that happened in the old year and the welcoming in of the new. The night starts with dancing and music where people of all ages drink and enjoy life. As the clock struck 12 we hugged and the flames engulfed the wooden figure as confetti fell from the sky and balloons bounced over the crowd.
Louisa Guise

A Méri old evening, France

Wooden chalet in the mountains, Méribel, France.
Wooden chalet in the mountains, Méribel. Photograph: Nick Daly/Getty Images

In Méribel for New Year’s Eve, a couple from our chalet invites us to the local bar. We are a mixed bunch; some of us in snow boots, some dressed very fashionably. The champagne flows, glasses are raised, then raised again as the mellow sounds of a saxophonist flood the room. The fire crackles, while outside the crescent moon hangs amid twinkling stars; this is paradise. Later, we head to the village square where vin chaud is served by chalet staff as we watch expert skiers descend carrying lanterns while fireworks burst above them. The hour is upon us as we gather around a tree and welcome in the new year. Perfect.
Jean Broad

Wine and jive, Cape Town

Fireworks over Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront.
Fireworks over Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. Photograph: Alamy

A sunset picnic on Table Mountain, washed down with silky-smooth Stellenbosch wines, was a great way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Cape Town at the dawn of the new millennium. As the clock ticked towards midnight, I took the cable car down to the V&A Waterfront, looking down as the mountain tops of the 12 Apostles cast their dramatic shadows over the brooding Atlantic Ocean. An all-night open-air disco carried on the fun, welcoming in the new year for a crowd of all ages and races, with the then 81-year-old Nelson Mandela appearing on the big screen from his nearby home, jiving away, to join in the celebrations.
Gonca Cox

Salsa, sea lions and sculptures in San Diego

San Diego: Darth Vader and a host of stormtroopers join the annual Balloon Parade.
San Diego: Darth Vader and a host of stormtroopers join the annual Balloon Parade. Photograph: Alamy

The welcome sunshine was not just a bonus for me, but also for the sea lions who were basking on the jetty. The Balloon Parade was a party open to everyone, and it was a friendly family atmosphere along with plenty of salsa moves. At sunset, stunning stone sculptures were silhouetted against the skyline. Standing on the boardwalk in Seaport Village was the perfect viewpoint for the midnight fireworks and their sparkling reflections in the sea. A great way to see in the new year – and all for free.
Vanessa Wright

I found Paradise, Ethiopia

The View Of Lake Abaya from Paradise Lodge
Looking out on Lake Abaya from Paradise Lodge. Photograph: Grant Rooney/Alamy

One year I spent 31 December at Paradise Lodge, overlooking Ethiopia’s Lake Chamo in the south-west of the country, where the individual tukuls (round huts) could be described as primitive or charmingly rustic, depending on your take. At the gala dinner we ate berbere-spiced wats (stews) and injera, a flatbread that reminded me of foam rubber in looks and taste. The music ranged from Amy Winehouse to traditional Ethiopian tunes, and a group of Indian visitors proved funky dancers whatever the beat. Midnight arrived, along with a huge cake, poppers, streamers and more dance music. The international partying continued until the early hours when I returned to what seemed like a palatial room.
Helen Jackson



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