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A moose that spent at least two years wandering with a tire around its neck through the forests of Colorado state in central USAHe walks free of that encumbrance after wildlife agents remove it.

Rescuers had to cut off the elk’s five-pointed antlers, as they were unable to cut the metal band from the tire.

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The 270-pound moose had been very elusive in the past two years, despite being spotted several times.

On Saturday afternoon he was seen and authorities were able to shoot a tranquilizer dart at him.

The neck of the animal was in very good condition despite all the abrasions.

“The hair was a bit pulled out, there was a small open wound the size of a nickel or a quarter, but other than that it looked very good.” said Scott Murdoch, one of the two who removed the tire.

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After removing the tire, the remains of pine needles and dirt that it contained and the antlers, the moose weighs about 16 kilos less.

The animal was first seen with the tire in July 2019 by a wildlife officer while conducting a census of Rocky Mountain sheep and mountain goats in an area called Mount Evans Wilderness, the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife said in a statement.

At the time, the moose was about two years old. The animal probably got its head stuck in the tire when it was very young, before it had horns, or during the winter, when it was shed, authorities said in a statement.

“Wildlife protection officers have seen deer, elk, bears and other wild animals become entangled in a number of man-made gadgets, such as swings, hammocks, clotheslines, decorative or Christmas lighting, furniture, tomato vines, chicken feeders, laundry baskets, soccer goals or volleyball nets and, yes, tires ”, he added in the statement.

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