One of the Cowichan Lake area’s well-known resident elk was rescued from a fence after being entangled for roughly 12 hours.
Wendy Stokes reported that the massive animal eventually was able to free himself from the fence but “the chase was on to get the stuff off his antlers.”
Conservation officer Robin Sano was able to tranquilize and help the elk dubbed “Mr. Hollywood” clear his antlers but the situation has Stokes calling for neighbours and fellow Lakers to remember to check around their yards to see if there are any hazards present, like clotheslines and Christmas lights.
“Every year it happens,” said BC Conservation Services’ South Island Sgt. Scott Norris. “Put your stuff away. If you live in a piece of property where there are elk or deer, there’s a chance an elk is going to get caught up in your stuff.” Norris said the problem with bulls is is they like to wave their big antlers around a lot and they get caught up in people’s things.
“Swing sets, tire swings, hockey nets, fishing nets, tennis nets, hammocks, all sorts of things,” he said. “If an animal’s mobility and ability to feed is severely limited by whatever they’re tangled in then we’ll intervene,” Norris added. “We don’t like to but if it’s severe enough we will.”
Stokes said the conservation officer told her Mr. Hollywood was laying down, letting three different drugs he was administered to facilitate the fence removal from his antlers work their way out of his system Friday afternoon, Dec. 6.
Stokes and others keep a close eye on the resident elk, posting updates about their whereabouts on Valley Fish and Game’s Wilderness Watch page.
Last month another popular resident elk, “Bob”, was freed of rope and possibly a hammock after being found stuck to a tree. Conservation officers also had to help to remove the material from the animal’s antlers that time, too.
“The things they get into,” Stokes said. “One bull elk, this was a while ago, was dragging a tire swing that got tangled in his antlers…no one’s fault but the elk for going through a swing set. I remember a bull with a wind chime on his antler and you could hear him coming. Again, it was his fault for walking into it. But clothesline put up to hang the wet towels up after swimming in the lake etc. and hammocks, they can be put away,” she added.
“I have lived here 45 years. Back in the days we had to go to Shaw Creek to see them, now they’re in your yard,” Stokes said. “We have to respect them, we are in their territory. People, they are all over our main road and we need to be aware of them. Especially on Highway 18.”