Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) are searching for two suspects in connection to the illegal killing and removing of trophy parts from a rare bull elk within Dinosaur, Colorado town limits. The animal was found headless, left to rot.

According to a press release from CPW, the locally famous Colorado elk was found dead on a ranch on Friday, November 8, two days after it was believed to be shot through the abdomen. The poachers stripped the elk of its “unusual and distinct antlers,” leaving enough meat behind to feed an entire family for up to a year. The 6 x 5 antlers taken from the elk are considered to be large enough to classify it as a high-quality animal.

Investigators say the elk had become well known in the area for its unusual and distinct antlers, consisting of brow tines on the right antler. The elk was described by local residents as “docile.”

Two vehicles are believed to be involved in the incident. One vehicle is described as a white 1980s model Chevrolet pickup with Utah license plates. The other, a newer silver Chevrolet pickup with its license plate obscured by mud. Two individuals, one wearing a camouflage hoodie, were also reportedly seen in the same area where the elk carcass was found.

Colorado law requires hunters to prepare all harvested big game animals for human consumption. Removing of the antlers, head, or hide, and leaving the meat to waste can result in up to a class-five felony along with the suspension of hunting and fishing privileges.

Local town authorities and the Moffat County sheriff’s office are currently assisting CPW in this investigation. If anyone in the public has information about this poaching case, they’re encouraged to contact wildlife officials at 877-265-6648.

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