Elk tranquilized to remove rope in antlers
January 15, 2014
Highland Estates resident Jean Glaser had been photographing a herd of elk which wandered into her backyard for several weeks, having noticed one of the elk with a tangled rope in its antlers. After several calls to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Glaser helped to get the elk free from the rope.
Glaser’s story starts in mid-December, when she saw a herd of elk across the street behind her neighbor’s house. She went out to take some photos and sent them to a friend in Arizona, who pointed out that there looked to be rope wrapped around one of the elk’s antlers.
"I checked and, sure enough, it looked like it had been decorated for Christmas with a rope instead of tinsel," Glaser said, adding her friend in Arizona named the elk ‘Larry,’ since it looked like a lariat was wound around his antlers and neck.
Later, Glaser called the DWR and sent them the photos. They told her to keep an eye out for the elk and let them know if she found any problems with it. On New Year’s Day, Glaser called the DWR again, as the elk had been hanging around the house for several hours.
Last Saturday, the elk were again in Glaser’s backyard, and she noticed the rope was getting tighter across the one elk’s neck. She sent more photos to the DWR, left for Salt Lake and came back two hours later to find four missed calls from Covy Jones, the northern region wildlife manager for the DWR.
"[They were] asking for my address and that they were coming over right now," Glaser said. The DWR responded 10 minutes after she called them back.
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When the DWR trucks arrived at Glaser’s home, the elk stood up but did not leave. Glaser said Larry was standing sideways almost waiting for the tranquilizer shot, and as a DWR official braced the gun on the front of the truck and fired, it caught him square in the shoulder.
"[Larry] took off and ran down the road. He got down to the end of the road before he dropped," Glaser said. " the time I got there, [DWR officials] took the rope off and were coming up the hill."
When Larry awoke, Glaser said he looked around "as if to say thanks" and went off to find the rest of the herd.
Jones gave Glaser the rope that had been tangled in Larry’s antlers as a souvenir. She added that while she has lived in her house for 27 years, she has only had elk in her yard once.
"You get to appreciate them. They ate two-thirds of my trees, but other than that, I really like them," Glaser said.