Crews save 2 elk from Colorado pond; 2 others die
PAGOSA SPRINGS, Colorado. ” Emergency crews who were “making things up as we went” saved two wild elk that broke through the ice and were trapped in a pond, but two other elk died.
The panicked and struggling animals were spotted in the water on private land south of Pagosa Springs, 200 miles southwest of Denver, last weekend, Division of Wildlife officials said Friday.
An impromptu team of wildlife officers, sheriff’s deputies, volunteer firefighters, police officers and search-and-rescue crew members pulled three cow elk from the pond with ropes, but one was euthanized later when it appeared she wouldn’t survive.
The fourth elk, a young bull, died before he could be pulled from the pond.
Pagosa Fire District volunteer Thad McKain, who is trained in ice rescues, and DOW officer James Romero donned ice rescue suits and crept out on the ice to reach the elk, secured by ropes held by others on the shore.
“Then we just started making things up as we went,” said Mike Reid, another DOW wildlife officer who helped with the rescue.