There was nothing it could do. A young bull elk totally covered in mud stood in a muddy wallow, able to move but unable to get out of the muck onto solid ground. It happened in southern Colorado about a three-hour drive south and west of Colorado Springs.
Two Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers took a call from the U.S. Forest Service and acted. First, they tried to pull the elk out by its antlers but it sheer weight combined with being weighed down with mud and water made that impossible.
Next, they backed up to the wallow, looped a large strap around the bull’s antlers and attached it to an ATV. Again, no success so they maneuvered the four-wheeler and made a few adjustments. Eventually, the elk fell its side and the ATV dragged it out.
Once freed but exhausted, it stood up and looked at its rescuers.
“We want to thank the Forest Service for reporting this animal in distress and our wildlife officers for their quick thinking,” CPW posted in a tweet. “It was a difficult task, but they got it out!”
Go here to view videos and more photos of the rescue.
(Photo credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)