A buck that has had something stuck in his antlers for at least two months has onlookers in Colorado concerned for his well being.
A new video has emerged on Facebook of him grazing along a snowy embankment with an outdoor swing trailing beside him, still loosely hooked into his antlers.
“Poor guy!” the person wrote on the post. “I’m worried he’ll get tangled with a fence or tree and won’t be able to move around. He’s been like this for several weeks now.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife in Estes Park first posted about the buck on Facebook on Oct. 31. Officials wrote on the post that an officer has been monitoring the bull elk to make sure he can move around freely and get to food and water.
“Also, please make sure you’re not leaving things around your yard that can entangle wildlife,” officials wrote in the post.
Several people commented that it looked like an outdoor rope swing that fastens to a tree branch.
“Poor guy. He doesn’t want that thing hanging around!!!” one said.
“It’s a swing! He is a swinger!!!” another joked.
Several others commented that once the bull elk sheds his antlers in the spring, the swing should come right off with them. “But that’s probably pretty annoying,” another offered.
Some said they wanted to try to pry the swing from his antlers, but officials warned them not to. It’s too dangerous in the middle of mating season, known as the rut, when bucks are aggressive and are known to “stand their ground in the presence of people,” they said.
“It is especially important for people and their pets to give deer extra space this time of year,” officials said in a Dec. 5 news release. “During this time, bucks are territorial and loaded with testosterone. They may attack people that appear to be competitive rivals.”
Yard decor can be hazardous to bucks
They’re also likely to tangle with hazards in yards this time of year, officials said.
“Bucks in the rut may also spar with and become tangled in swing sets, volleyball nets, bicycles, vegetable-wire cages, hoses, and more,” the release said. Many speculated that’s what happened to the Estes Park buck.
Wildlife officers get calls every year about deer stuck in netting and holiday decorations, especially holiday lights. Anyone who encounters an entangled deer should notify their closest wildlife office with where the deer was spotted.
“People should never try to free deer of these hazards themselves because of the serious risk of injury that can be caused by antlers and hooves,” the release said.
As for the buck with the pesky swing on his left antler rack, officers won’t intervene unless the swing starts harming him and prevents him from eating, drinking, or moving around.
Some suggested it may have even helped him appear more menacing during the rut.
“I wonder if this made him more or less attractive during rut & also if the decoration intimidated other bulls?” one mused on Facebook. “I mean, he may have had a strategy.”