Elk free after getting stuck in toy hoop

 Credit: KCNC-TV
Credit: KCNC-TV (KKTV)
Published: Aug. 9, 2016 at 1:22 PM MDT
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Nothing but net -- but not exactly a slam dunk for a poor elk.

A female elk got her head through a toy basketball hoop -- and with no way to squeeze the rest of her body through, was stuck walking around Evergreen Monday with the toy dangling around her neck.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife fielded numerous calls from worried citizens. Typically, however, in cases like this where the animal is not in distress, CPW won't intervene.

"If the animal can see, breathe and eat, we prefer not to tranquilize," CPW spokesperson Jennifer Churchill told sister station KCNC.

Churchill explained that tranquilizing can be dangerous for the animal, which is why they prefer using it as a last resort.

But it also comes down to the officer's decision -- and in the case of the Evergreen elk, an area Parks and Wildlife officer decided she'd had enough basketball for one day.

The elk was briefly tranquilized while the officer removed the hoop. After she woke up, the officer sent her on her way.

Parks and Wildlife says this is a good reminder to remove things from your yard that an animal could get tangled up in. Christmas lights, clothes lines and tennis nets are some of the more common culprits.

Free at last! (Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)