Elk gets trapped between trees scratching an antler itch

A bull elk won’t get very far during mating season without a sturdy set of antlers, which it uses to wage battle against rival suitors. But antlers can be quite the pain, requiring considerable energy to grow and causing major itching as the fuzzy velvet falls off.

The natural solution is to scratch an itch, and when you’re a hoofed mammal, getting in there with your nails is not an option. The bull in this video found himself a nice double-sided scratching post, which turned out to be a double-edged sword. Once between the trees, he was unable to pull his antlers back through the too-small opening.

Unfortunately, these kinds of accidents can be fatal in the wild. Sparring bulls can become permanently entangled and starve to death. In fact, oversized antlers are thought to be one of the reasons that the Irish Elk became extinct. Of course it’s hard to know the exact cause, but we imagine such a huge rack hindering their movement may have been a factor.