EVERGREEN, Colo. (CBS4) - An officer with Colorado Parks & Wildlife caught up to a young bull elk in the Hiwan neighborhood of Evergreen Monday morning to rescue the animal from an encounter with a resident's volleyball net.
CPW spokesman Jason Clay said the officer, Scott Murdoch, had to tranquilize the animal and cut off one three-point antler. Untangling the net was not feasible, he said.
Pictures released by CPW in a Twitter message showed the netting wrapped around the base of the bull's antlers and overhanging his eyes, obviously impairing vision.
His companion elk did not seem particularly alarmed by the new headgear, but CPW said wildlife can not only harm itself trying to escape such entanglements but can injure humans who try to approach an animal in a panicked state.
"An animal does not understand that you are trying to help it and can be very dangerous in that type of circumstance," CPW's Clay said. People who see an animal in this situation are asked to call the local CPW office or the local police department.
Furthermore, CPW asked foothills and mountain residents to prevent these types of conflicts in the first place.
"Colorado Parks and Wildlife urges residents to take down equipment and yard toys when they are not in use that cause problems for wildlife," Clay said. "It's common for deer, elk and even moose to get tangled in hammocks, volleyball nets, swing sets, tire swings, clothes lines, yard decorations, garden fencing, tomato cages, buckets, etc. Those items should be stored for the winter or covered and secured in a manner where wildlife cannot get caught in them."
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