This elk found a hammock less than relaxing.
Every year, elk, moose and deer across the country end up in trouble during the rut when their antlers get them tangled into an unintended life-or-death situation. While some of these situations are naturally occurring with another buck or bull, others are the fault of humans.
The Blaine County Sheriff's Office in Idaho recently shared photos of just one such situation on their Facebook page. A bull elk was found south of Ketchum, Idaho in a river with his antlers hopelessly tangled in a hammock.
As you can see by the photos below, this animal was likely doomed to a cruel and slow fate had humans not intervened in the situation.
The Sheriff's Office said in their post that the bull was found in the Big Wood River. Officers were obviously concerned with it drowning in this situation. The Sheriff's deputies ended up assisting Idaho Fish and Game, who tranquilized the animal so the hammock could be cut free from the massive animal's antlers.
It is safe to say the animal would have never gotten free from the tangled mess or ropes and wood on his own, making him an easy target for predators. The animal later walked away unharmed after waking from his ordeal.
"As Mr. Hammock Elk walked off back into the woods after we're pretty sure we heard him whisper: 'Thank you Officers,'" the Sheriff's Facebook page reads.
The post also notes the hammock was completely destroyed in the incident to save the animal's life. As unusual as this incident was, it's not the first time we have heard about a deer or elk getting into a fight with a hammock and losing this time of year. It probably won't be the last either. When the animals get frustrated during the rut, they'll take their frustrations out on inanimate objects and sometimes this behavior gets them into trouble. We already saw a similar story earlier this year with an elk that got his antlers wrapped in a telephone wire in Oregon. That story had a similar outcome where authorities had to tranquilize the animal to cut him free.
That's why we recommend removing hammocks, Christmas lights and other common yard objects during the rut if you have deer in your backyard. It's a small step, but one that can go a long way towards protecting native wildlife from ending up in an unfortunate situation.
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