Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers rescued a bull elk that had become entangled in roping and was hung up on several trees near Golden High School.
Around 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, a local resident reported seeing the bull elk with the rope caught in its antlers and a lengthy portion of it trailing behind. The bull elk became entangled in a thicket near 24th Street and Cheyenne Drive. Wildlife officers arrived on the scene at 9 a.m. and were assisted by Golden Police Department’s Animal Management unit.
A CPW wildlife officer tranquilized the bull elk so it could be freed of the entanglement. By 10:25 a.m., the roping was removed and after receiving a reversal agent to wake it from the sedation, it ran off.
Wildlife officers did not observe any serious injuries and other than being exhausted, they believe the elk will have a full recovery.
“Land managers rope off areas to try to prevent elk from damaging them,” said Area Wildlife Manager Matt Martinez. “It is an aspect of the landscape and shows the intersection of humans and wildlife in our urban interface. Land managers have every right to protect their property and the ones in Golden do as good of a job as they can to mitigate conflicts like these. We appreciate their efforts, but these things still can and do happen.
“Thanks to the local resident who reported this immediately, we were able to have a quick response and freed the elk without it sustaining any serious injury.”
CPW is in the midst of a five-year study to better understand elk movements and land use in the Golden area. Results will help inform wildlife managers of possible management strategies related to herd management plan objectives and habitat use.
To learn more on CPW’s study of this Clear Creek elk herd, please read Five-Year Study Launched To Help With Front Range Elk Management.
Written by Jason Clay. Clay is a public information officer for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife northeast region.