Officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife are asking the public’s help in locating a bull elk with a rubber tire stuck around its neck. The elk has been seen like this for over a year.
The organization shared a video they captured on a trail camera in early August of the young elk with a tire stuck around its neck walking around the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest.
Rangers from the park say that this is the seventh time surveillance footage has seen the stuck animal in the past 12 months. They fear the elk may not survive if removal of the tire does not happen soon.
Due to his young age, officials are afraid that the tire will restrict its airways when the elk grows, choking it to death.
“As he continues to grow, he is not going to have the room that he has now to eat freely, to breathe and drink,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesperson Jason Clay said.
Rangers are also afraid that other wild animals will mistake the tire as a sign of aggression.
“Worst-case scenario is he could die because he is fighting with another bull elk,” Clay stated.
Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence. Rangers regularly spot elk with different objects, and debris stuck on their antler and necks.
“We see it too often, whether it’s, you know, a hammock caught up in it, Christmas lighting, roping, tire around its neck. Unfortunately, it happens quite a bit here in Colorado,” he said.
The bull elk has been caught on trail cameras near the town of Conifer a few other times in recent months. The CPW urges residents in the area to call them immediately if they locate the animal. They also ask not to attempt to remove the tire themselves.
Many on Twitter have responded to the CPW’s post with their outrage as well as sadness for the animal.
Another user writes their anger with whoever littered the tire, leading to the elk’s struggle.
Similarly, this user sincerely hopes to find and help the animal soon.
[H/T Daily Mail]