NBC will salute animal lover and friend of Talkin’ Pets Betty White in a primetime special January 31.
The 10 p.m. ET/PT special, Celebrating Betty White: America's Golden Girl, will stream on OTT platform Peacock the following day.
The special will combine star tributes with clips.
Among White's most notable TV credits was NBC's Golden Girls. She also appeared on the talk/variety Betty White Show, which aired on NBC in the early 1950s, and had a long-running role on NBC's coverage of the Rose Bowl parade, though she turned down a potential anchor spot on NBC's Today.
White died December 31 at age 99. She would have been 100 on January 17. ■
After dealing with thousands of crows roosting in downtown, Sunnyvale, California, for years, the city is taking a note from nearby Silicon Valley and going high-tech with lasers.
Mayor Larry Klein told CNN crows have roosted in the downtown area for generations, but during the pandemic the numbers have grown. The birds have become a problem for restaurants and other businesses, as well as a noise nuisance for the residential areas.
When it comes to eating outdoors, "I'll go inside unless I'm under an umbrella," resident Frank Hampton told CNN affiliate KGO-TV. "Thing is, they're not here during the day, it's just at night. It's just when they start coming around when the sun goes down."
The city has tried everything to get the birds to find a new spot, but all success has been short lived.
"We have had a falcon previously, a hawk, but it has had limited success and the crows return," Klein said.
Reflectors were also a failure, given the crows tend to congregate at night. Now, the town is moving to laser pointers.
"The cost of bringing in a falconry person is actually fairly high long term, and here we are mainly talking about a $20 solution and some staff time, to have a pilot program to try to resolve the problem," Klein explained.
"It's a health problem we've had to deal with, and at the cost of the city, so if we have a cheap solution, there's no reason to try it, right?" Klein said.
The mayor got the idea from a friend who has been using a green laser to disperse birds squawking in his yard. He learned other towns with bird problems were using the same technique, since it is deemed safe by the Humane Society of the United States.
The program will start at the end of the month. City staff and residents will be armed with the lasers in hopes of success.
"If the green lasers don't work by themselves, then we start looking at the sound of crows in distress or other opportunities that present themselves, but this is the first step in trying to deal with the birds," Klein said.
However, not everyone is a fan of trying the technique. The Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society told Klein they are worried the lasers will blind the birds and cause harm to humans and aircraft. They want the city to continue exploring other options.
A dog in South Africa adopted from the SPCA into a loving forever home has repaid her owners a thousandfold after two armed robbers broke into their house and opened fire. The mixed breed, Kei, was shot in the face while ferociously protecting the family’s young lady.
Those armed intruders on Oct. 3 broke into the family’s Lakefield Benoni home; one gunman entered the master bedroom, where a terrifying firefight ensued, and was shot dead; the other man entered the eldest daughter’s room where Kei was poised on her bed ready to defend her owner.
Kei sprang at the gunman with a forcefulness that surprised him. He turned and fled, leaving a trail of blood as he ran down the stairs, and encountered the family’s Biewer Yorkie Holly and shot her dead. Hot on his tail, Kei faced the man in the kitchen where he shot her in the face, shattering her jaw, and then escaped the house and leapt over the wall.
Kei, in a desperate bid to seek help, yet unable to bark with her terrible mouth injury, ran outside to the gate to alert the neighbors but found no one. She then bounded down to the nearby lake, where she often goes on walks, in search of help, but to no avail.
The family, desperately searching for Kei, drove the streets and after 40 minutes found her laying in the grass by the water. They called the Boksburg SPCA and Kei was taken for treatment. She was lucky to be alive. The bullet had severely injured her tongue, blasted through two molars, and broken her jaw.
She had to be put on an IV and could not eat for many weeks to come. Eventually, though, once the doctors were sure there was no infection and an X-ray showed that all the bullet fragments had been extracted, she was taken to have surgery and have a titanium plate prosthesis put in to restore her shattered mandible.
Meanwhile, the community at large generously contributed to the hefty cost of the surgery; and the family later shared their gratitude on a Facebook post by the the SPCA.
They wrote: “We are so blessed and your acts of kindness have helped ease the trauma for us. THANK YOU to each and everyone of you for all you have done for our Kei and our family ???”
They added: “With all the generosity we have received from far and wide, we’ve chosen to donate all remaining funds to the Boksburg SPCA in loving memory of our sweet little Angel Holly.”
The SPCA in turn hailed Kei a hero dog and lauded the benefits of adopting a loyal pooch who will surely repay the favor given half a chance. “This is a beautiful example of how an unwanted, cross breed, SPCA animal can go from ‘zero to hero,’” they wrote. “There are thousands of dogs just like Kei sitting in SPCAs around the country, waiting to be adopted. Look after your pets and we promise, they’ll look after you!”
A mysterious black blob of a fish—featuring terrifyingly pointy spines, rows of long needle-sharp teeth, and strange alien-like appendage growing out of its head—gave lifeguards a start after washing up in Encinitas, California, in early December.
The exceedingly rare specimen, called a Pacific footballfish, one of the largest species of anglerfish, was found by a surfer at Swami’s Beach, who handed it to lifeguards, who in turn passed it to oceanographic scientists for further study.
Ichthyologist Ben Frable from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego was only too pleased to receive the unique deep-sea swimmer intact.
Looking like something from the movie “Aliens,” these creatures dwell at depths of 650 to 2,600 feet below the sea where no sunlight penetrates—hence the strange “fishing pole” (illicium) growing out of their head from which dangles a glowing phosphorescent bulb (or ecsa) that attracts prey amidst the pitch dark. They possess a globular-shaped body and long, scary teeth that are angled inward, helping to ensure no food escapes.
Frable collected tissue samples from the fish for genetic analysis and took X-rays as part of his research, while stomach contents will offer insight into deep-sea food webs. The rare specimen lacked signs of physical trauma or toxins, such as from oil spills. Frable is preserving the footballfish for future scientists to study.
Weighing 5.5 pounds and measuring nearly 13 inches, it was determined to be a mature female—which are much larger than males. Anglerfish demonstrate extreme sexual dimorphism (where sexes exhibit different traits).
With only 31 known specimens collected worldwide, and none being observed in the wild, very little is known about the unusual fish, such as what they eat or how they reproduce. Finding such specimens is considered a rare opportunity to gain new insights.
“Experts don’t have any evidence to theorize why several deep-sea fish have washed ashore recently, but are interested in learning more about the specimens that have been collected, as well as any new ones that might wash up,” Scripps stated.
While the rows of teeth, spines, and jet-black flesh may call to mind something from Sigourney Weaver’s worst nightmares, Dr. Frable insists she’s nevertheless a “beautiful fish.”
Trophy hunters are celebrating their kills in Las Vegas this week at the Safari Club International convention, despite overwhelming public opposition. A new national poll out today reveals:
- 76% of U.S. voters oppose trophy hunting, with majorities across all party lines.
- 76% of U.S. voters oppose the auctioning of hunting trips, trophies, and animal parts at Safari Club International’s annual convention (taking place this week), with majorities across all party lines.
- 82% of voters oppose allowing American trophy hunters to import into the U.S. the parts of elephants and lions they kill in Africa. Those imports are opposed by 78% of Republicans, 89% of Democrats and 77% of non-partisan voters.
- 71% of voters are less likely to vote for a lawmaker who supports trophy hunting.
Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States and CEO of Humane Society International released this statement this morning:
“Despite new evidence of public opposition to trophy hunting, a stubborn minority is meeting at the Safari Club International convention in Las Vegas this week to congratulate and brag to each other about their kills, and to shop and bid for their next pay-to-slay adventure—a shameless betrayal of threatened and endangered species, especially in light of the global biodiversity crisis. We must expose and eliminate this exploitative industry forever.”
At this week’s SCI convention, the lives of over 800 mammals—generating millions in revenue for SCI—are up for auction. Vendors are auctioning off trophy hunting trips in over 30 countries including South Africa, Canada, Spain and Namibia. Many species offered are internationally protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora or under the Endangered Species Act, such as polar bears, leopards, zebra and Canada lynx. Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump Jr. are guest speakers and Donald Trump Jr. is auctioning off a hunt with him in Alaska to kill mountain goats valued at $60,000.
In addition, a new analysis also released conducted by the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International, and Humane Society Legislative Fund demonstrates the dominating influence of American trophy hunters on wildlife worldwide and confirms that the U.S. was the top importer of trophies of protected mammalian species in the world between 2014 and 2018. The analysis shows that 75% of global trophy imports of those species were imported to the U.S. primarily from Canada and South Africa. The U.S. imported 72,617 of these trophies which included over 8,000 trophies of species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The top five species imported as trophies: American black bear (45,048 primarily from Canada), Chacma baboon (2,762), Zebra (2,993), Gray wolf (2,180) and African lion (2,169).
In a recent study published in Current Biology, a collaboration between researchers from Oxford University, University of Lisbon and the British Geological Survey found that black-browed albatross dive deeper than previously realised.
Mollymawks (small to medium-sized albatross like the black-browed albatross) are known to shallow dive, reaching a maximum diving depth of 6m–9m. Data collected by the team revealed that 50% of the birds dived deeper than 10m and that dives could be up to 19m deep – over twice the depth previously thought.
GPS devices, depth recorders and accelerometers documented the journeys of the New Island population in the Falklands commuting to the South American coast and diving at unexpected depths to pursue prey.
Dr Oliver Padget, Junior Research Fellow, Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford said:
‘A better understanding of the unobserved behaviour of the albatross and other endangered seabirds is essential to conservation efforts.
‘That black-browed albatross are physically capable of such deep dives will now need to be considered when thinking about the effectiveness of mitigation strategies that rely on the species being restricted to the surface.’
Diving activities recorded amongst the population took place during the day, suggesting that the albatross rely on their vision to pursue shoaling prey on deeper dives.
‘We found that deep diving was restricted to daylight hours, and so one potential mitigation could be for pelagic long lines to be set at night when albatross might be less likely, or able, to chase baits and become caught.’ Dr Padget continued.
The albatross, the harbourer of mariners’ souls, is facing a conservation crisis. Plummeting populations over recent decades have left albatross in the number of the world’s most imperilled species. 15 of 22 species in the albatross family are at threat of extinction.
A major factor in the decline has been modern commercial fishing methods. Seabirds are incidentally caught by vessels targeting large ocean-going fish, such as tuna, using pelagic longlines.
Generally observed as surface feeders, with a powerful sense of smell and shallow diving ability, hungry albatross are at particular risk when lines are set, and the baited hooks are still close to the surface.
Bycatch mitigation measures can reduce the potential dangers by limiting the availability of hooks to birds as lines sink from the surface (using weights to sink lines faster or Hookpods that cover the barb).
These techniques focus on the danger from lines near the surface because albatross are not [usually] documented diving at depths where the hooks are deployed for the target catch.
Tim Guilford, Professor of Animal Behaviour, Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford said:
‘Diving in this population could be the result of previously unseen behavioural flexibility, and have important consequences for how we think about the risks to threatened species, and for how they might respond to change.’
The Biden-Harris Administration recently revealed an action plan to create a “fairer, more competitive, and more resilient meat and poultry supply chain.” To boost competition in the meat and poultry processing sector, and support workers in the independent processor industry, the Administration will dedicate US$1 billion in American Rescue Plan funds.
The plan emerged in response to decades of market domination by a handful of large meat and poultry processing companies that control a majority of the business. According to a report from the Open Markets Institute, four firms control 85 percent of the beef market, four companies dominate 54 percent of poultry, and the top four processing firms control about 70 percent of the pork-processing market. “When dominant middlemen control so much of the supply chain, they can increase their own profits at the expense of both farmers—who make less—and consumers—who pay more,” the White House states. “Most farmers now have little or no choice of buyer for their product and little leverage to negotiate, causing their share of every dollar spent on food to decline.”
The Action Plan offers four core strategies for creating a more competitive, fair, resilient meat and poultry sector. The plan promises better earnings for producers and more choices and affordable prices for consumers. “Even as farmers’ share of profits have dwindled, American consumers are paying more—with meat and poultry prices now the single largest contributor to the rising cost of food people consume at home,” the White House states.
Along with providing US$1 billion in funding for independent processors, the Biden-Harris Administration also aims to strengthen the rules that protect farmers, ranchers, and consumers. This includes issuing new, stronger rules under the Packers and Stockyards Act, a law designed to counteract abuses by the meatpackers and processors. The Administration will also issue new “Product of USA” labeling rules to help consumers understand where their meat comes from.
Another core strategy of the plan involves promoting “vigorous and fair enforcement” of existing competition laws and ensuring collaboration among different government agencies. In line with this strategy, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced a new joint initiative that would create a portal for reporting concerns unfair and anticompetitive practices.
The plan will also seek to increase transparency in cattle markets to ensure fair prices for ranchers. To do so, the USDA recently began issuing new market reports that provide insight into the overall market dynamics underpinning formula cattle trades. The Biden-Harris Administration will also work alongside Congress to pass legislation that ensures farmers and ranchers have fair access to processing capacity.
The plan is receiving mixed remarks from meat industry groups. In a recent statement, Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO of the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), said that the Biden-Harris Administration is “blaming inflation on private industry” and continues to ignore labor shortages, which are “the number one challenge to meat and poultry production.” But Brooke Miller, President of the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), praised the plan, saying the USCA hopes it “will help bring transparency and true price discovery to the cattle marketplace.” +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Adtalmen Global Education Foundation has partnered with RedRover—a national animal welfare nonprofit—and donated $91,380 to the organization to help develop outreach and national training programs to raise awareness of domestic violence within the veterinary community.
Domestic violence is prevalent with 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experiencing it in their lifetimes1 and studies show the connection between human and animal violence—“The Link”—it is probable that veterinary professionals encounter these victims. As many as 48% of women report a delay in leaving their abuser because they fear what their abusers will do to their pets in the absence.2 Plus, 71% of women entering domestic violence shelters document their pet was threatened, abused or killed.3
Therefore, according to an organizational release,4 the Adtalmen Global Education Foundation grant will support "Don’t Forget Pets," RedRover and Greater Good Charities' collaborative project aiming to help domestic violence shelters create pet housing programs. The funding will advance the project's efforts by raising awareness of “The Link” and educating veterinary professionals on better identifying and responding to domestic violence cases at their practice while encouraging them to support community efforts.
“We are thrilled this Adtalem Foundation grant will allow us to reach more veterinary professionals. Through the Don’t Forget the Pets website, workshops, and forum, we’ll help veterinary staff better understand the issue and their role in how they can support people and pets in crisis within their communities,” Nicole Forsyth, president and CEO of RedRover, said in the release.4
Through this partnership, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine alumni will have the opportunity to participate in a pilot training program which will then become available to more veterinary professionals.
“At Adtalem and across our institutions, including Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, we are committed to making a lasting impact on the communities in which we live and serve,” said Sean Callanan, MVB, CertVR, MRCVS, PhD, FRCPath, DiplECVP, dean of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. “Awareness is the first step in providing solutions to pressing issues that impact the health of our global communities, and education and training are foundational to change.
"At Ross Vet, we put the One Health ideology into practice through our curriculum, research, and in the St. Kitts community we call home. We believe in the interconnection between humans, animals, and our shared global ecosystem and are thrilled to partner with RedRover on this critical endeavor," he added.
The lifetime cost of caring for a dog or cat remains misunderstood by many owners.
This is according to a survey of 1,200 pet owners and 100 veterinarians, conducted by financial services company, Synchrony. Nearly half of pet-owning respondents acknowledged they had “underestimated” the lifetime cost of their companion animal’s care, which ranges from $20,000 to $55,000 for dogs and $15,000 to $45,000 for cats.
Additionally, approximately half of all pet owners who thought they were financially ready for unexpected pet expenses reported they were not.
“Millions of Americans choose to share life with a pet, yet the true cost of ownership has historically been incredibly vague,” says Jonathan Wainberg, senior vice president and general manager of Synchrony’s pet division. “Our study serves as a helpful tool to prepare prospective pet parents.”
The research, which was conducted on behalf of the company’s pet-related financial groups, CareCredit and Pets Best Pet Insurance, considered an exhaustive list potential costs, including first-year expenses (e.g. spaying/neutering, vaccinations, pet supplies), food, pet insurance, and end-of-life care.
The study revealed that, in the first year of ownership, dogs can cost owners anywhere from $1,300 to $2,800, while first-year cat care is approximately $960 to $2,500.
“Veterinarians often see pet parents struggling to balance the care their pet needs with what they can afford,” says PAW Consulting owner, Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA. “This new study provides us a comprehensive look at the true costs of pet care so we can arm our clients with the information and financial solutions they need to care for their pets for a month, year, and an entire lifetime.”
Mike Axthlem of Minneapolis, Minnesota, arrived home one day to find his dog Mav acting guilty and he defecated in the house, which was unlike him, according to Axthelm. Once Mav began foaming at the mouth and the family discovered an empty dietary sleep supplement pill bottle, they immediately rushed him to the emergency room.
After Axthelm called the veterinary hospital ahead of time, Amy Stockton, DVM, instructed him to call the toxicology experts at Pet Poison Helpline who determined Mav ingested a severely toxic volume of 5-HTP. 5-HTP is a compound that helps raise serotonin levels in the brain, and too much can cause GI signs, CNS stimulation, and serotonin syndrome.
By the time they arrived at the hospital, Mav was blind, unconscious, and had been having seizures for 15 minutes. His pupils were dilated and unresponsive, frothy foam was coming out of his nostrils, and fetid stool was running out of his rectum.
The hospital staff learned that Mav ingested around 600 dietary sleep supplements. This led his veterinarian to witness her first case of serotonin syndrome, a rare and potentially deadly condition.
“This was my first case of serotonin syndrome in my 25 years of practice,” Amy Stockton, DVM, explained in an organizational release. “We started with injectable Keppra, which did absolutely nothing for him, so we gave him an additional dose.”
“Still shaking, he received my entire supply of methocarbamol IV. That didn’t help much, so we crushed up tablets and gave [them] rectally. We then administered phenobarbital and crushed up his cyproheptadine dose and administered that rectally," she continued.
Mav’s temperature when he arrived at the hospital was 105.5 °F, which veterinary professionals reduced with cold fluids, and his blood pressure remained normal. Clinicians administered 3 doses of cyproheptadine 4 hours apart to manage the serotonin syndrome. His pupils became less dilated and more responsive to light within 4 hours, and by 8 hours, he was conscious and responsive. Twelve hours after the ordeal began, he was still weak but able to go outside.
With the help of Pet Poison Helpline, Dr Stockon and her team successfully treated Mav, who has made a full recovery.
Dogs diagnosed with lymphoma can now benefit from newly approved treatment.
Dechra Veterinary Products’ newly acquired Laverdia-CA1 has been granted conditional approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The product, verdinexor tablets, works to prevent certain proteins from leaving the nucleus of cancer cells, thereby allowing these proteins to control the growth and prevent the spread of cancerous cells in dogs. It is the first oral treatment for dogs with lymphoma to receive the agency’s green light.
“Lymphoma is a devastating cancer in dogs, with few FDA-approved treatments available,” says Steven M. Solomon, DVM, MPH, director of FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. “This conditional approval provides a much-needed option to treat dogs with lymphoma.”
The prescription-only drug is to be administered orally twice per week with at least 72 hours between doses.
“We are excited to acquire the worldwide rights to Laverdia and add this state-of-the-art drug immediately to our U.S. portfolio,” says Dechra’s president of North American operations, Mike Eldred. “Dechra’s commercial and veterinary technical teams currently support veterinarians with highly technical drugs, and Laverdia-CA1 is a perfect fit into our product range.”
The drug is the second treatment for lymphoma in dogs to receive conditional FDA approval. Tanovea-CA1, which received full approval last year, is injectable.
Providing sound nutrition supports your horse’s immune system, allowing him to fend off infections and respond appropriately to vaccines. Some horses, however, have suboptimal immune function or are immunocompromised in some way, leaving them susceptible to disease.
“Supplements designed to provide immune support are popular and may include ingredients such as herbs, prebiotics, and antioxidants like vitamin E,” explained Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research.
Vaccination initiates a coordinated series of events that activate immune responses designed to fight specific infections. This type of immunity involves the production of infection-fighting antibodies by B cells and stimulates cell-mediated immune responses orchestrated by T cells.
Older studies demonstrated that mature horses, often beset with age-related decline in immune function, benefitted from vitamin E supplementation in the face of vaccination.* Not all vitamin E formulations, however, have beneficial effects in horses.
According to Crandell, “Nano-E, developed by Kentucky Equine Research, is a natural-source, water-soluble vitamin E that features nanotechnology to deliver its powerful antioxidant. Nano-E is readily absorbed from the digestive tract, providing 250 IU d-alpha-tocopherol per milliliter.”
One team of veterinary researchers recently explored an alternate nutritional supplement called Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product (SCFP) to support immune function in horses. Their study demonstrated beneficial immunomodulatory effects following vaccination, potentially identifying a novel means of boosting immunity through nutrition. *
The researchers used a proprietary supplement containing SCFP, which functions as both a prebiotic and probiotic. The supplement was fed to six horses for a total of 56 days. On day 40 of supplementation, horses were vaccinated using an equine influenza vaccine. This vaccine was intended to mimic an influenza vaccine booster, which would increase antibodies against that virus. Five horses served as controls and did not receive the SCFP.
After analyzing various white blood cells involved in immunity and antibodies against the influenza virus, the scientists concluded that SCFP supplementation modulated vaccination-induced responses in the supplemented horses.
“The microbiome in the gut is a major part of the body’s immune system. Anything that can improve the health of the intestinal microbiome, such as SCFP with prebiotic and probiotic activity, may bolster the immune system,” Crandell said.
Horses consume multiple energy sources, such as starch, fat, and fiber, to fuel growth and performance. These energy sources are often termed “substrates” by nutritionists. By measuring the use of these substrates, researchers can better understand their relevance in nutrition and exercise physiology.
Through the process of indirect calorimetry, substrate utilization by a horse during exercise can be determined by measuring heat production. To measure the amount of heat produced, air inhaled and exhaled by the horse is analyzed for oxygen and carbon dioxide values. By dividing carbon dioxide produced with oxygen consumed, the respiratory exchange ratio (RER) value is calculated to determine what type of substrate is being used by the horse during exercise.
Kentucky Equine Research uses two different types of indirect calorimetry systems. The Versailles, Kentucky, location features an open-circuit indirect calorimeter system. The horse wears a loose-fitting facemask while exercising on the treadmill. This facemask pulls ambient air, along with expired gasses from the horse, through an attached tube down to an oxygen analyzer.
The Ocala, Florida, location has a closed-circuit indirect calorimeter system that measures oxygen on a breath-by-breath basis. Like the open-circuit system, the horse wears a facemask during treadmill exercise. In the closed-circuit system, however, a slim black tube is attached to the side of the mask and connects to an oxygen analyzer. To calibrate the analyzer, a gas tank that contains low amounts of oxygen is used to set the lower standard and atmosphere air is used to set the higher standard.
This closed-circuit facemask, with its snugger fit, reduces the amount of ambient air analyzed with the expired air compared to the open-circuit facemask and is much more portable. To adapt horses to this mask, a dummy mask is used. This dummy mask has the same shape and weight but no attached tube.
Oxygen measurements are generally the same on a breath-by-breath basis but can show variability across a full exercise test. This type of measurement allows nutrition researchers to understand, for example, what type of energy source in feed is more beneficial for certain types of exercise intensities. In the future, this equipment can help researchers better understand the correlation between heart rate and amount of oxygen consumed and produced by a horse during exercise.
Colorado Wildlife officers successfully removed a tire from around the neck of a 600-pound male elk last month. The 4-year-old bull had been wearing the 20-pound tire for the last two years, first being sighted in July 2019.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers had made several attempts to track him down to remove the cumbersome tire, finally succeeding when the elk was reported in a neighborhood near Pine Junction last October.
Officer Dawson Swanson responded and was able to intercept the animal and get close enough to implement a tranquilizer dart. After calling for assistance, Swanson was joined by Officer Scott Murdock, and together they attempted to cut through the tire but were unable to, and had to cut off the elk’s antlers—which will grow back in the spring.
“It was not easy for sure, we had to move it just right to get it off because we weren’t able to cut the steel in the bead of the tire,” Murdock said in a press release. “Fortunately, the bull’s neck still had a little room to move.
“We would have preferred to cut the tire and leave the antlers for his rutting activity, but the situation was dynamic and we had to just get the tire off in any way possible.”
Previously, the officers feared the elk’s neck would swell during breeding season, causing the tire to cut off blood circulation or airflow for the animal or prevent growth.
After the tire’s removal, they noted that some hair was rubbed off and saw a wound “the size of a nickel or a quarter,” but found his neck was in surprisingly good condition, the statement said.
After freeing the elk, they administered a tranquilizer reversal and the bull was back on his hooves within minutes—leaving the scene about 35 pounds lighter.
The 20-pound tire had accumulated debris over the last two years. “The tire was full of wet pine needles and dirt,” Murdoch said. “So the pine needles, dirt, and other debris basically filled the entire bottom half of the tire. There was probably 10 pounds of debris in the tire.”
“I am just grateful to be able to work in a community that values our state’s wildlife resource,” Swanson said. “I was able to locate the bull in question along with a herd of about 40 other elk.”
Wildlife during winter often make themselves scarce, but mating season afforded the officers an opportunity to locate and unburden the bull. Animals occasionally do venture in where people live and put their heads in things which they then walk away with.
Parks and Wildlife advises locals to be aware of obstacles that wildlife can get tangled in, such as swing sets, hammocks, soccer goals, and yes, tires.