It turns out that securing trash cans isn't just for keeping away hungry black bears in Colorado – it's to protect all the wildlife in the state.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) received "multiple" sighting reports this week of an elk with a trash can lid wrapped around its neck near the rodeo grounds in Evergreen, just 30 miles west of Denver.
“She is an old elk. We had multiple sighting reports yesterday and today. It turns out that securing your trash isn’t just for bears,” CPW said in a tweet on Wednesday.
Wildlife officer Joe Walter tranquilized the elk, then safely removed the trash can lid from her neck. The uninjured elk slowly popped back up and walked away.
Colorado boasts the largest elk population in the world, according to CPW. The state is home to more than 280,000 elk.
Residents are urged to remove hammocks, sports netting, garden cages, and other tangle hazards from their yards to keep wildlife safe and roaming freely.
Editor's Note: Give wildlife space. Do not approach or ever try to feed them. Stay safe and keep wildlife in the wild.