A Colorado elk had to have its antlers removed after they became stuck in a children’s swing.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers responded to a report on Saturday that a young bull elk was wandering around, entangled in a swing, the agency said in a Tweet.
Wildlife officials were able to locate the ani Monday. They tranquilized the 2.5-year-old elk and removed its antlers to “keep the bull from getting harvested this season,” the agency tweeted.
The elk was released once the tranquilizers wore off, now able to eat and drink freely without the blue swing seat stuck to its face, officials said.
The elk had “non-typical” antlers, meaning that the pedicle, where the elk’s antlers grow, was damaged at an early age, the agency said.
Animals who have experienced that damage might have “unusual to extreme” variations in antler shape, as well as protrusions that grow in different directions, Colorado Outdoors Magazine reported.
This damage usually occurs at an early age or after animals have shed their antlers for the spring. Damage can also occur when animals’ antlers are in the “velvet” stage, when the developing antlers have a velvety coat that protects blood vessels and “the soft material underneath” that will become a hardened antler, according to Colorado Outdoors Magazine.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife encourages residents to get rid of items in their yards that could entangle big-game animals like elk, including hammocks, lawn chairs, holiday lights, sport nets and more, the agency said in a tweet.