People in the Lake Cowichan area are asked to be on the look out for an elk that has been spotted in the area with wire wrapped around its head. (File photo)

Lake Cowichan elk with head wrapped in wire raises concern

Conservation officers ask that people keep a look out for the animal

The public is urged to be on the lookout for an elk with wire mesh wrapped around its head in the Lake Cowichan area.

If seen, people should call conservation officers immediately so quick effort can be made to help the animal.

Jennie, who asked that her last name not be used, said she was driving into Lake Cowichan on Oct. 4 when she saw a small herd of elk on the side of the road.

She noticed that one of them, a young elk that is approximately two years old, had what appeared to be wire wrapped around its head.

“It looked like the elk may have had the wire around its head for some time because it appears to be very tight and seems to have grown into it,” Jennie said.

“I’m really concerned for the health of the elk if the wire is not removed.”

RELATED STORY: FIRST ELK POACHING OF WINTER OUTRAGES CONSERVATION CROWD

B.C. conservation officer Scott Norris encouraged anyone who sees the elk to call the conservation hot line at 1-877-952-7277 as soon as possible.

He said it’s important the officers get the call quickly so they can be on scene before the elk has gone too far away to be found.

“Depending on the circumstances, we may decide to tranquilize the elk and remove the wire,” Norris said.

“If we determine that the elk is not too wrapped in the wire and it’s not impeding its eating or movement, we may decide to leave the situation to play itself out because there’s always the risk of mortality when we use tranquilizers.”

Norris said tranquilizers are only used if the animal is in apparent dire straits and can’t move and/or feed itself.

“That’s why we want people to notify us as soon as possible if they see this elk so we can get there quickly and make those assessments before the animal wanders too far off,” he said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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