By Alan Gionet
EVERGREEN, Colo. (CBS4)– If elk talked, this one would have a story to tell. This fully grown female was in a bad spot. People were seeing it around Evergreen with the toy basketball hoop and net hopelessly wrapped around its neck.
Monday afternoon, officers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife were able to dart the fully-grown female elk in the Troutdale area above Evergreen Lake.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesperson Jennifer Churchill said, “It happens pretty much every year.”
Frequently, the elk that get caught up are male.
“Often it’s upsetting to people and they want us to go in an intervene,” said Churchill. “But the antlers fall off. If the animal can see, breathe and eat, we prefer not to tranquilize.”
That’s because tranquilizing itself is dangerous for the animal. Elk are known to get caught up in tennis nets, Christmas lights and backyard clotheslines. Parks and Wildlife says it’s a good reminder at this time of year to start thinking about taking things down that can tangle wild animals.
Officers chose to free the elk even though it’s distress was not as urgent.
“Officer discretion comes into it too,” said Churchill.
Officers were able to remove the hoop, get the elk up and going and on her way. If she could talk, she might just thank them.