CANMORE – A bull elk with Christmas lights wrapped around his antlers is running around Canmore.
Fish and Wildlife officials say they are aware and monitoring the situation, noting the elk is able to move freely and continues to forage and find food.
“Elk typically shed their antlers in the winter, and we expect once the elk drops its antlers in a month or so, the lights will go with it,” said Ina Lucila, an Edmonton-based spokesperson for Alberta’s Justice and Solicitor General, who noted a local wildlife officer was unavailable for interview.
“In order to safely remove the lights, officers would have to physically restrain the elk and/or tranquillize it, which could cause unnecessary physical and mental stress. Officers will continue to monitor the situation and take additional steps if needed for public safety or the elk’s wellbeing.”
Members of the public are encouraged not to approach the elk, as this may cause it stress.
“It may react defensively to protect itself,” said Lucila.
To help prevent situations like this in the future, people are asked to avoid stringing lights around bushes, shrubs or trees that are within reach of animals.
Members of the public can report these situations to their local Fish and Wildlife district office by dialling 310-0000 toll-free in Alberta.