Conservation officers were called to a yard in Youbou on Sept. 22 to deal with an elk that managed to get its antlers tangled up in a hammock and swing that were attached to a tree.
Officer Mark Kissinger said the conservation office received a call from a neighbour at the cabin next door to the yard where the elk was entangled.
He said officers went immediately to the scene and tranquilized the elk before removing the hammock and swing from the antlers.
It took about 25 minutes from the time the animal was tranquilized, to having the material removed and getting back on its feet again after receiving a reversal drug.
“This was a cabin area so it was lucky that people were there at the time to call us about the situation,” Kissinger said.
“If no one was around, the elk likely would have only lasted a few days.”
Kissinger said conservation officers get more calls than usual about elk getting their antlers caught up in things at this time of year because it is their rutting season.
“They will try to fight anything, and will spar with anything that is hanging during rutting season,” he said.
“Our advice is for people not to have anything hanging in their yards, like swings, netting and hammocks, at this time of year, especially at cabins when no one is around.”
Kissinger said this is the third time this month that conservation officers in the Cowichan area were called to help elk that had their antlers entangled.
“We usually get calls about elk with entangled antlers about five or six times each rutting season,” he said.
“So far this year, we had two entangled in hammocks and one with barbed wire. All were successfully freed, tagged and are now running around.”