An “animal in distress” call almost turned ugly in Washington when police officers responded to help an elk that was stuck in a rope swing.
Body cam footage from the deputies that reported to the scene showed how it all played out in real time, and how one deputy was dangerously close to being pinned into a tree by the elk’s antlers.
When they first arrived, the younger bull elk was trying it’s best to get out of the tangled mess it got itself in, but wasn’t having any luck. The officers quickly tried to figure out what would be the best way to free the wild animal from the rope that was stuck around its antlers.
A first attempt with a knife proved to be unsuccessful, only because the knife would require one of the officers to get very close to the elk, and the wild animal was still running around and jumping recklessly to try and get away.
Another officer showed up with a pair of long trimmers, which were immediately traded out for the knife considering they could utilize them from a safer distance. They get one half of the rope swing cut, which helped to get the elk a little bit more free, but the other half was still wrapped around one of the antlers.
The deputy is trying to keep the tree between himself and elk as much as possible, and when he does step out from behind the trunk, the bull elk lowers its head and begins to charge. The man drops the trimmers and dives out of the way, narrowly avoiding being gored by the elk.
Once they determine that the officer is okay, those responding to the call pull together some “redneck ingenuity” and use a knife duct taped to the end of the a garden rake to cut through the remaining portion of the rope that the elk is caught up on.
Finally, the rope gives way, and the elk takes off into the woods as the officers stand and watch. At the end of the video, Sgt. Darren Moss of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department had this to say:
“We could’ve used a tranquilizer, but we didn’t have fish and wildlife or game wardens available. And honestly, the deputies did a great job of using their tools, or what they could borrow, to cut this guy down so that he wasn’t going to hurt himself or stay tied to that swing and end up dying out there.”
Take a look at the intense video below:
And the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department decided to follow up on the incident, and later posted on their Facebook page that some trail cameras in the area had captured pictures of the elk they had saved.
The post read:
“Who’s in the mood for some good news this morning? Well, check out this photo that a resident sent to us. It’s from the resident’s game camera and shows an elk grabbing some grub at a feed station.
But it’s not just ANY elk… it’s the bull elk that our Mountain Detachment deputies rescued from the rope swing. We’re so happy to see him living his best life.
He still has the ropes wrapped around his antlers, but don’t worry – he’ll shed his antlers and the ropes over winter.”