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Fish and wildlife officers free bull elk severely tangled in wire fencing

tangled elk

A bull elk is lucky to be alive after some Canmore, Alberta, locals found it tangled in 50 metres of fencing. 

The residents called Alberta Fish and Wildlife as soon as they spotted the distressed animal in a wooded area along the east side of town.

By the looks of the large ungulate, it had been dragging the fence, along with a pile of logs and other debris, before it settled where it was found, unable to carry on.

As Brendan Cox, a public affairs officer with the provincial government, told CBC News, the animal was likely already dealing with a great deal of stress due to mating season. In fall, aggressive male elk are competing with one another for a mate, but with its antlers stuck in a fence, this one didn’t stand a chance.

Elk freed from page wire fence

Fish and wildlife officers recently freed this elk from 50 metres of page wire fencing caught in its antlers. Concerned Canmore residents led officers to the location within the town site, and the elk was immobilized. Officers cut the fence and put the elk into a recovery position to help it breathe.While the fence was stuck in the bull elk's antlers, it also entangled a few logs, which the animal was then forced to drag. To add to the animal's stress, it is currently mating season, which means it must compete with other aggressive males. Not all animals are able to recover from this kind of situation, but in the end, this elk did quite well, and officers watched it walk back into the wilderness.

Posted by Fish and Wildlife Enforcement on Thursday, October 13, 2016

Even after a rescue like this one, not all animals will recover. Luckily, this elk managed to walk away from the ordeal relatively unscathed.

After the officers tranquilized the elk, they were able to safely cut the fencing right off its antlers. Once they removed the wire, the officers moved the animal into a recovery position to help it breathe. Then they witnessed a very happy ending.

“They watched the elk wake up and walk right back into the forest,” Cox told CBC.

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