Friday, August 28, 2009

Elk Rescue: Resolution

Once the tranquilizer kicked in, the bull was easily removed from the entrapping chains. The right antler was broken where it attaches to the skull and had to be removed so that the animal could heal. It seems that the skull itself was not fractured so this should not be a severe problem for the animal, but it is possible and indeed likely that this antler will be deformed in future years.

Removing Damaged Antler

The Antler

Monitoring Vital Signs

Blind Folded

Stump Of Removed Antler

Once the antler was removed, the animal was fitted with ear tags, biological data was collected and an antidote for the tranquilizer was administered to hasten recovery. Soon the bull began kicking and moving his head, and it was time to retreat to a safe distance. Again I was operating the camcorder when he regained his footing, so there are no still photos of that.


WCO McDowell and his fellow PGC employee are to be commended for their professionalism and competence in bringing the situation to a successful resolution. Hopefully the young bull will learn from the experience and avoid swing sets in the future. (Bulls often spar with other bulls, or rub their antlers against trees, etc. It seems likely that this was the cause of the entrapment, as the swing was likely a tempting target and gave a satisfy response to being punched with his antlers, until they became entangled)


Dina said...

So glad you all saved his life.
What a drama in these posts.

Does the animal go stiff when tranquilized?

Peggy said...

What a story! I don't know if I could have held back my emotions if I saw it in person. And although there could only be 1 happy ending, it is truly sad that his struggle went on for so long and he had to lose his antler. Thank God people were there soon enough to save his life!

Brad Myers said...

Willard, it looks like we were thinking alike this week in our post. I had a feeling we would be both posting on the same incident I just did not think our post would end up so simular. If you ever hear anything about the bull please drop me a message and let me know. I am setting up reservations this weekend for the rut and I will let you know the dates then. I am looking forward to it.

Willard said...

The drug had an immediate calming effect and quickly relaxed the animal to the extent that he slumped to the ground, so actually there was no stiffening effect at any point although the last photo makes it appear so. Actually in that case he was starting to regain the use of his limbs and was kicking about slowly.

Louise said...

I'm sure if anyone sees this buck in the future, you will. It will be interesting to see what happens with the antler.

Brad Myers said...

Willard I wanted to congratulate you on the honorable mention you got for the bull elk photo in the Pennsylvania magazine. I bet you didn't think anyone would catch that on here. Now I know why mine got sent back to me.

Stacey Olson said...

bet he is walking funny, feeling a bit lopsided.. wonder how this missing antler is gonna effect him durring the rut.. yikes.. glad they were able to remove him from the swing.. poor guy..
Great story Willard.. you never dissapoint

Carolyn Ford said...

Beautiful shots with a beautiful story resolution...I do hope that deer stays clear of swings in the future!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Willard: I'm glad you were able to capture the recovery.

Unknown said...

Poor guy, I'm glad he could be rescued. Great set of photos!