After two tiring years, Colorado Parks & Wildlife officers were finally able to remove a tire from an elk's head on Saturday. 

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According to Colorado Parks & Wildlife, an elk with a tire around its neck has been seen around the state for at least two years. But until now, officers have been unable to remove the large piece of rubber from his body.

Between May and June of 2021 alone, Colorado rangers made four attempts to catch him. Then, throughout September and October, residents in the town of Pine started seeing him around more, so rangers had their chance to try to tranquilize him and remove the tire.

'The tire was full of wet pine needles and dirt,' wildlife officer Scott Murdoch said on Colorado Parks & Wildlife's website. 'So the pine needles, dirt and other debris basically filled the entire bottom half of the tire. There was probably 10 pounds of debris in the tire.'

While a literal weight was lifted from the elk's shoulders (about 35 pounds total), officers did have to remove his antlers to get the tire off. However, they were actually surprised that the elk sustained minimal injuries from having a tire necklace on for over two years.

'The hair was rubbed off a little bit, there was one small open wound maybe the size of a nickel or quarter, but other than that it looked really good,' Murdoch said, adding that he was shocked by the condition of the elk's neck.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife reminds us to live responsibly, with wildlife in mind. You can see more photos of the rescue here.

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