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Elk gets head caught in plastic toy basketball hoop

By Daniel Uria
Elk gets head caught in plastic toy basketball hoop
Wildlife officials in Colorado tranquilized a female elk in order to help remove a plastic basketball hoop, which was stuck around its neck. Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said they prefer not to tranquilize elk due to the possible danger, but it is often left up to officer discretion. Screen capture/CBS Denver/Inform Inc.

EVERGREEN , Colo., Aug. 10 (UPI) -- A female elk in Colorado was found with its head trapped in a plastic basketball hoop before being freed by wildlife officials on Monday.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill told CBS Denver that while the sight may appear unusual elk often find themselves caught up in various household fixtures such as Christmas lights, tennis nets and clotheslines.

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"It happens pretty much every year," she said.

The elk was eventually tranquilized as Parks and Wildlife officials safely removed the hoop from its neck, but Churchill said they typically prefer to not intervene.

"Often it's upsetting to people and they want us to go in an intervene," she said. "But the antlers fall off. If the animal can see, breathe and eat, we prefer not to tranquilize."

According to KKTV, Churchill said tranquilizing can be dangerous to the animal, but the decision to tranquilize is often a matter of officer discretion.

The deer monitored the elk as it regained consciousness and sent her on her way back into the nearby woods.

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