ESTES PARK, Colo. (KDVR) — From tangled osprey hundreds of feet off the ground to owls tangled in fences, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers have seen just about everything.
“This is one of the greatest things about this job. You never know what kind of call you’re going to get,” explained Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer Chase Rylands.
However, Rylands had his work cut out for him last week when an elk ended up stuck in a swimming pool at the Fawn Valley Inn in Estes Park.
“He was pretty tired, under a lot of stress (from) just being in the pool,” Rylands said.
Rylands admits there is no manual for how to get an elk out of a swimming pool, so he improvised by first draping a rope over the animal’s antlers.
“My first attempt was just trying to use my own strength to give it enough guidance to get it out of the water,” Rylands said.
When brute force didn’t work, Rylands brought in back-up from the Estes Park Police Department. The two officers wrapped the rope around a metal railing, continuing to try to pull the elk toward the pool’s stairs.
“He was very reluctant to go the way we were trying to get him to go,” said Rylands.
The officers then hooked the rope up to a pickup truck and tried to slowly pull the elk toward the stairs. It worked. Minutes later the elk was out of the water, thanks to two men with a knack for improvisation and a passion for wildlife.
“It’s a feeling you can’t explain. It’s just the most elated feeling you can have,” Rylands said.