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Rancher Rescues a Pair of Rutting Elk Locked by Horns

Rancher Rescues a Pair of Rutting Elk Locked by Horns

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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- There's another report of two bull elk locked together by the horns, but this story has a happy ending.

An Idaho fish-and-game officer used a shotgun to separate the elk, sparing them from a slow death in chest-deep water.

The rescue came less than a week after another pair of rutting elk died in extreme northeast Nevada after a landowner there refused to let biologists cut off their horns.

Idaho rancher Joe Sorensen says he found two large elk latched by their horns chest-deep in a creek on his land south of Carey, Idaho, 110 miles east of Boise.

Sorensen says he couldn't just let the animals die.

He called Idaho senior conservation officer Rob Morris, who took aim at the locking horns with a shotgun, freeing the animals on Sept. 27th.

Sometimes horned animals managed to free themselves while thrashing.

But that didn't happen in a corner of Nevada that meets Idaho and Utah.

Wildlife officials there couldn't convince the landowner to allow them access to sedate and cut off the horns of the struggling elk. Both animals died in Goose Creek several days later, one at a time.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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