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Colorado Elk Stuck Inside Tire for Years Becomes Free at Last

elk stuck inside tire
Image by Inside Edition via YouTube

We’re polluting our earth at an alarming rate and oftentimes it’s innocent animals that pay the price. Thankfully this story has a happy ending, after being stuck inside a tire for years this elk is finally freed from this tiresome burden!

An Unwanted Accessory

The journey of this four-year-old elk is both extraordinary and sad (but with a happy ending!) For over two years, it roamed the Colorado wilderness wearing an unwanted accessory around its neck – a tire. Both locals and wildlife enthusiasts in the area became worried and were desperate to help. But for the better part of two years, the elk would remain out of reach.

Freed At Last

“Elk Freed From Tire Stuck Around Its Neck For Years” Source: YouTube, Uploaded: Inside Edition

The rescue operation was a delicate endeavor. After years of eluding capture, officers could finally tranquilize and approach the elk. The team, led by Officer Scott Murdoch, faced a tough decision: to remove the tire, they had to saw off the animal’s antlers. This decision, though heartrending, was necessary for the elk wellbeing.

Magnificent Migrators

Elk deer in Jasper National Park near Maligne Canyon. Image via Membeth, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Elk in Colorado undertake impressive seasonal migrations, traveling up to 60 miles between summer and winter ranges. This migration ensures they find the best grazing areas and avoid deep snow, showcasing their incredible endurance and adaptability to Colorado’s diverse landscapes.

Bugling Bulls

Roosevelt Elk
Young Roosevelt Elk.
Image by Y S via Unsplash

During the fall mating season, male elk, known as bulls, produce a distinctive bugling call to attract females and establish dominance. This haunting sound can be heard echoing through Colorado’s mountains, adding an enchanting soundtrack to the autumn wilderness.

Antler Growth

Elk. Image via depositphotos.

Elk antlers are among the fastest-growing tissues in the animal kingdom. Bull elk grow new antlers every year, which can reach up to four feet in length and weigh up to 40 pounds. This rapid growth is fueled by a rich diet of grasses and forbs.

Impressive Herds

elk at night
Roosevelt Elk. Image via Depositphotos.

Elk are social animals that typically live in herds. In Colorado, these herds can range from a few individuals to over 400, especially during the winter months. Herding behavior provides protection against predators and helps with finding food.

Velvet Shedding

American elk. Image via Leupold James, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In the summer, bull elk’s antlers are covered in a soft, blood-rich tissue called velvet. This velvet supplies nutrients necessary for antler growth. By late summer, the velvet dries and is rubbed off, revealing the hardened antlers beneath, ready for the rutting season.

Elk Diet

Rocky Mountain Elk
Elk (Cervus canadensis) are highly adaptable animals.

Image by Byron Johnson via Unsplash

Elk are herbivores with a diverse diet that includes grasses, shrubs, and tree bark. In Colorado, their diet varies with the seasons, adapting to the availability of different plants. This adaptability helps elk thrive in various habitats, from grasslands to alpine meadows.

Calving Season

Image via Unsplash

Elk calves are born in late May or early June after a gestation period of around 240 days. Typically, a cow elk gives birth to one calf, which can stand and walk within an hour of birth. The calf’s spotted coat provides camouflage against predators.

Historical Significance

Juvenile Elk
Juvenile male tule elk near Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore, California. Image viaFrank Schulenburg, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Elk have played a crucial role in the culture and history of Colorado’s indigenous peoples. Tribes such as the Ute and Arapaho relied on elk for food, clothing, and tools, and they feature prominently in their folklore and traditions.

Conservation Success

Image via depositphotos.

Elk populations in Colorado have rebounded significantly thanks to successful conservation efforts. In the early 20th century, overhunting and habitat loss drastically reduced their numbers. Today, careful management and habitat restoration have helped elk thrive once again.

Elk Watching


Colorado is a premier destination for elk watching. Estes Park, adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park, is one of the best places to observe these majestic animals. Each fall, thousands of visitors flock to the area to witness the spectacular elk rut.

Let’s dive into 11 fun and interesting facts about elk

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Monday 24th of June 2024

A Moose is NOT also called an elk. The animal with the tire is an elk. Both are related however different species. The photo under the heading "incredible calves" is a dog/puppy body with a photoshopped moose head. Moose don't have paws.


Thursday 11th of January 2024

Could they not have cut through the tire... instead of cutting through the antlers?🤔

Ron Phillips

Monday 24th of June 2024

The steel cords imbedded in the tire are very difficult to sever without special tools. Since antlers are shed each winter then regrow each spring the antler that was removed will regrow.

Friday 12th of January 2024


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