Wildlife Officers Successfully Save the Lives of Bull Elk Trapped in Fence
Two bull elk are safe thanks to the hard work of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers.
According to a tweet from the CPW NE Region, the incident occurred on Sunday (Dec. 19), when the animals got stuck in wire fencing in an Estes Park yard.
Wildlife Officer Rylands of CPW and Deputy Marcantonio of the Larimer County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) worked together to tranquilize the animals and remove the dangerous wiring.
The entanglement left the elk exhausted but, thankfully, without fatal injury.
"Both elk were administered a reversal drug and woke up shortly after. We expect a full recovery," said CPW in a Twitter video. "Please make sure that you don't have anything out in your yard that can entangle wildlife."
According to OutThere Colorado, CPW learned of the situation after neighbors reported the incident. If they had not called it in, the animals likely would have died.
In a 2021 report, CPW noted the dangers that wire fences pose to wildlife, stating that "the fence becomes a complete barrier for animals that are incapable or unwilling to jump and are too large to slip through."
Animals stuck in wire fencing often face a "slow and desperate death," while animals that escape the fencing still receive scars from the fencing's barbs.
To create a wildlife-friendly fence, CPW recommends making the structure short enough for animals to jump over but far enough from the ground that animals can crawl under it.
It is also important to adorn the fence with highly-visible materials, like PVC pipe or tape. If possible, avoid building the fence in known wildlife travel corridors.