Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Elk Rescue-One Year Later

Shortly over one year ago on the morning of September 18, 2009, a young bull elk was grazing and browsing in a lawn in the village of Benezette, Pennsylvania, with never a hint that in two days he would be involved in an incident that would single him out for attention and result in him being tagged with the nickname, "Swinger".

A Soon To Be Famous Young Bull Elk Sept 18, 2009-photo by W.Hill
I was loading my vehicle for the day's photo shoot at the crack of dawn on September 20, 2009, when fellow photographer Brad Myers of Bradley Myers Photography stopped by and told me that a bull elk was caught in a swing set at the old Benezette school, which is now the municipal building.  He had already spoken to someone about reporting the incident to Pennsylvania Game Commission Officials, so we proceeded to the scene and documented the rescue.  While this incident was reported in depth last year, I will re-post the short video which I made of the rescue in case someone has not seen it before.

Pennsylvania Elk Rescue from Willard C. Hill on Vimeo.

The pedicle, was broken loose from the skull and while it seemed likely that the animal would fully recover from the inident, there was a chance that future antlers that grew from that particular pedicel would be deformed.

Luckily the animal did fully recover and Elk Biologist Aide, Mark Gritzer who played a significant part in the rescue effort photographed him recently and was kind enough to share a photograph with us.

"Swinger"-One Year Later -photo: courtesy of Mark Gritzer used by Permission
There does not appear to be any significant deformity to the rack, but the velvet on the brow tine is very light colored.  At first I thought this was reflected glare from a strong ray of sunlight, but I looked again at the e-mail from Mr. Gritzer and he points out that this photo is, "displaying the white velvet", so it appears that this  is in fact caused by last year's injury.

I wish to thank Mr. Gritzer very much for sharing the photograph with us.


W drodze... said...

Excellent photos ! I love it :)

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Wow,that is amazing footage.One lucky animal.

Brad Myers said...

That was some morning Willard, without me checking my files to be sure I think it was August and not September. But then I do not know what day it is most fo the time. In June Shane and I looked for him without any luck so maybe during the rut next month. I would like to get photos of him in better times. With the exceptions of the white tine I amy not have recognized him.

I tried to comment on your last post but it has a problem there so I will do it now. I will need to check out the center next month but I am not looking forward to it's opening. We know I am new to the area compared to you but I do not want the increased traffic. I like the more personal time with the Elk. It will also add to the uneducated viewers that stop in peoples driveways and lawns creating problems that always come back to people like us that follow the rules. It will not keep me away as you have got me very hooked.

I can't wait to shoot with you and the guys next month, Brad.

Willard said...

I don't know what is wrong with that comment link. Coy uses Internet Explorer and it will not work for him, but it opens for me with Firefox.

Anonymous said...

That was an excellent video, Willard. I think I held my breath on and off throughout the video. I am so glad that "Swinger" is doing well.

Heather said...

That's my buddy! I am so so happy you found him Willard...I was curious if he'd have deformity or not. What a beautiful young bull.

Anonymous said...

I think this is one of the finest examples of how the game commission people should work when it comes to animals in trouble. The elk doesn't appear to have suffered any lasting damage. That is good news.

I was very sad to see the dead deer on Coy's blog. That kind of thrill killing should be dealt with in some way. I suggested a Pennsylvania Wildlife Ranger corps of volunteers who patrol the know spots for these lunatics and use cell phones to call in the authorities.

Very nice post, Willard. Happy results for Swinger.

I am getting used to the new iMac computer. I really like it a lot. Now I have to get used to some of the features not found on PC s and I have to learn how to use some of them as a kind of exchange for PC tools I was used to. Patty likes her new iMac too. Her HP is in pieces. Two year old HP Slimline. Bad motherboard.

HANNIBAL said...

Very interesting velvet! I've never heard of that! Glad he has no permanent deformity! He's a beauty!