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Elk Shows Tis The Season

Bull's decorated antlers draw action from Canada officials

This elk near Banff got all tangled up in Christmas. (Courtesy of Dan Rafla/Parks Canada) This elk near Banff got all tangled up in Christmas. (Courtesy of Dan Rafla/Parks Canada)

By: Mike Suchan, OutdoorChannel.com

All donned up just in time for Christmas, an elk near Banff was tranquilized so Parks Canada staff could remove decorations from its antlers.

The bull that frequents the Alberta resort town had gotten into someone’s yard and tangled about 12 feet of Christmas lights with candy canes around its antlers. Fearing it might ensnare itself further and injure itself, the elk was tranquilized.

Parks officials cut off its antlers so they wouldn’t have the same issue later.

 "We thought that it could get wrapped up in its legs and cause some injury and/or get wrapped up in a bush," resource management officer Blair Fyten said. "This elk is one that frequents the edge of the town site and we just thought there could be another possibility that he could find himself wrapped up in some more Christmas lights.”

Canada Parks took some criticism for their action, but Fyten said antlers aren’t much use now after the September rut, so the moves saves it some energy from carrying the extra 25-30 pounds. And they will regrow.

Since two other animals were also caught in Christmas light, Parks Canada has asked residents to secure lights on their houses and not in trees and bushes where the animals might eat.

This story brings to mind an occurrence a few years back in Virogua, Wis. Mark and Carol Brye’s yard decoration, a 640-poound concrete elk statue, was mistakenly fought by a seven-point buck during the October rut.

The deer was adamant to chase off this stone-cold competitor and repeatedly head butted it, finally knocking it over. But the deer fractured its skull in the process and was found dead 20 feet away. See that story in TwinCities.com

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