Elk Tangled In Rope Swing Almost Gives Up Hope That He’ll Ever Be Free

“He was carrying a heavy load there.”

It was a typical April morning when Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers received a concerning but not necessarily surprising phone call from an Estes Park resident.

The person reported seeing a giant elk walking through a local forest with something tied around his head. The foreign object was dangling from his antlers, and he wasn’t acting right.

CPW is used to getting calls about elk in need — it’s unfortunately common for things to get trapped in their expansive horns.

Facebook/Colorado Parks and Wildlife

“These are calls that our wildlife officers respond to all the time because elk have these fantastic antlers, but they get stuck in things … a lot,” Kara Van Hoose, CPW’s public information officer told The Dodo.

But this item was different. This elk had seemingly wandered into someone’s backyard and left with their large rope swing wrapped around his head.

“The swing was pretty well lodged and kind of big,” Van Hoose said. “It was weighing the elk down and keeping him from being able to see things.”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

A local wildlife officer made his way to the helpless elk and assessed the situation. He checked the elk’s condition, if he was injured and the likelihood that he’d shake the swing off himself.

Luckily, the elk wasn’t seriously hurt, but he was impossibly entangled. The officer determined that he wouldn’t be able to get out of this web alone, so he stepped in and gave the elk some much-needed relief.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

In some cases, a tranquilizer is administered to help subdue animals in need. Van Hoose wasn’t sure whether this particularly big guy needed such intervention, but either way, he was exhausted.

The elk lay still as the officer quickly but carefully freed him from the rope swing.

Before long, the rope swing was completely untied and removed from the elk’s body. The poor guy was still out of it, so the officer stayed by his side until he was fully able to stand up on his own.

When he was finally feeling better, the elk stood upright and slowly started his journey back home.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

CPW officials aren’t sure if they’ve encountered the elk again since, but they believe he’s doing great.

“He was carrying a heavy load there, but he seemed fine in the end,” Van Hoose said. “We don’t have a way to track him and see how he’s doing, but we can only assume that he’s living his best life up there in Estes Park.”