On the go with car tires: rangers cut deer free

In 2019, a deer with an unusual load was spotted in a national park in Colorado: the animal wore a car tire around its neck. Ranger tried several times to free him, with success in the end. Now the animal is not only getting rid of the tire.

A elk in the US state of Colorado spent two years in the wilderness with a heavy tire around its neck – now rangers have freed it from the burden. However, the two rangers Dawson Swanson and Scott Murdoch had to cut off the antlers during the action on Saturday, reported the state authority Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Previously, the deer, who was around four and a half years old and weighing more than 270 kilograms, had to be lured out of a pack of 40 animals and anesthetized.

It was the fourth attempt by the rangers to help the animal in the past few weeks. The elk was spotted for the first time in July 2019 with the hoop around its neck.

The two park rangers estimated that the elk had lost almost 16 kilograms by removing its antlers and tires. “The tire was full of wet pine needles and dirt,” said Murdoch. There was probably almost five kilograms of rubbish in the tire.

Tire could not be cut

Actually, they would have preferred to cut the tire and not remove the antlers – for the rutting activities of the elk, said Murdoch. But it was not possible to cut through the steel in the tire. Fortunately, there was still a little room to move around the neck. The animal only had a small wound under the tire – and the hair was a bit rubbed off.

The young deer either got the hoop around his neck as a calf or in winter when he shed his antlers, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said. It could be that the curious animal stuck its head in a pile of tires. Game rangers have already observed how smaller deer, bears and other wild animals get caught in swings, hammocks, clotheslines, soccer goals or volleyball nets – and put their heads into objects with which they then run away. Therefore, residents should keep their property free of obstacles.

Wapitis can weigh up to 450 kilograms. The antlers reach a length of up to 1.50 meters and weigh up to 15 kilograms. Every year from February onwards, the bone-made antlers are shed. They grow again until late summer in order to showcase the strength and health of the wearer during the rut in autumn.