Elk freed from rope entanglement last year now has tube stuck on antlers
The notorious Vancouver Island elk formerly known as “Line Dancer” has gotten himself into trouble yet again.
Conservation officers say the same bull spotted lurking around Youbou entangled in rope last fall has now found himself caught up in a deflated inner tube.
“This particular elk was darted last year because at the same time last year, he had a tarp and ropes wrapped up and around his neck and head,” said Sgt. Scott Norris. “At that point it was impeding his ability to feed and we were concerned for his safety, and he couldn’t see very well.”
Conservation removed the debris from the elk’s antlers before tagging and releasing it back into the wild.
But when he discovered that the latest elk to be entangled was actually the same animal, Norris wasn’t shocked.
“Because of his location and his behaviour, I’m not surprised it happened to him again,” he said.
That’s because fall marks mating season for bulls, which live in the forest next to the small community, and they often show aggression by beating bushes with their antlers.
“Another bull was maybe challenging him, that’s why he was flipping stuff, and that’s probably what he did earlier to get that tube in his antlers,” said Denis Martel of Youbou Wilderness Watch.
Even though it’s an amusing sight, animal experts say there is serious concern for animals that get entangled because it makes it easier for them to get caught on something else, and it can slow them down when fighting off predators.
The Wilderness Watch group says it’s up to the public to prevent that from happening.
“People should think about the things that they leave lying around. They put them in places where animals come in at night, they can’t see that well,” said member Sandy Peters. “They’re pushing their way through and they’ve got this great rack of horns that get tangled up in anything.”
Conservation officers are keeping a close eye on the entangled elk, which has since been renamed from “Line Dancer” to “Tuber,” thanks to the deflated tube on his head.
They say they may have to tranquilize the animal once more to set him free.
With a report from CTV Vancouver Island's Jessica Lepp