PARK CITY — When one Park City resident looked out his basement window, he couldn’t believe what was looking back at him — two elk.
Wade Peers said his son came in and woke him up early Tuesday morning after the animals fell into one of the home’s window wells.
“It was about 2:30 in the morning,” Peers said. “He heard a big thud and was a little nervous.”
Peers looked out the window of his Park City home and saw not one, but two elk, a mother and her calf, trapped in the window well.
“They were just standing there, so we called the sheriff,” Peers said.
In turn, officials with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
That’s where DWR biologist Wes Alexander came in.
“Kind of crazy situations that we deal with,” Alexander said.
He and other biologists went to the house to see what was going on and how they could help the elk.
“I have always loved wildlife and being able to do what we can to help out,” Alexander said.
In this case, that meant tranquilizing both elk so they wouldn’t freak out and possibly break the window when a human approached them.
Peers also called his friends who happened to have the right equipment to lift the heavy animals.
“Dave Belcher owns Park City Towing and also Jim Daley — he has an excavating company that came over with a track hoe,” Peers said.
Peers filmed the operation as, one by one, the elk were slowly lifted out of the window well.
Here's the moment @UtahDWR biologists were able to get an elk out of a Park City window well. And get this... there was a second elk down there as well. We're doing this story for @KSL5TV tonight at 6. #ksltvpic.twitter.com/netn8v2su5— Alex Cabrero (@KSL_AlexCabrero) February 5, 2020
“With deer, usually we’re able to get them out with just manpower,” Alexander said. “But elk are so heavy, we’re really lucky they had the equipment to lift them out.”
Both the mom and calf were taken out with no broken windows and no injuries to them or to humans.
“Really, it went picture perfect regarding the situation,” Alexander said.
It’s not uncommon to see elk in this part of Park City. There’s even a statue of one in this very neighborhood.
What is unusual, though, is seeing one — or two — in a window well.
“Usually we get deer or a moose, but this is the first time in my ten years I have seen an elk in a window well. Especially two animals,” he said. “That’s a first. With deer and anything else, I’ve never had that happen before.”
The elk were then taken to another spot and released.
Both appeared to be just fine from their adventure.
“They ran off no worse for the wear and went great,” Alexander said.
As for Peers, he’s hoping for no more odd noises in the middle of the night.
“Yeah, yeah. That’s enough,” he said with a laugh.