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Locked Up in Mortal Combat

Last night, a friend forwarded me an email.  You know the kind, forwarded so many times there is no way to tell where it originally started or how many times it has bounced around the email providers throughout the world.  But this one was a little different, it wasn’t some chain mail, humorous tale, strange video, or even a friendly note telling me I’m the greatest friend in the world.  This email included a story from a Utah Conservation Officer and pictures of two bull elk which had their antlers locked.  The images also included two individuals, conservation officers, who were helping free the remaining live bull from the one which had perished in this most unfortunate event of nature.

My first reaction was, “These are amazing photos, I have to put these on my blog.”  But was this another hoax?  My next reaction, “Was this an ethical thing to do and is this going to compromise the integrity of my blog?”  So I posed the situation to Professor Morgan, who suggested I attempt to contact the conservation officer who had sent the original email.

Now, even though I immediately sent an email to the conservation officer explaining my intentions and requesting his permission and comment on the story, I was envisioning a “returned mail – invalid address” message, let alone ever seeing a reply from a conservation officer who would surely think responding to my email would be a waste of time.  I was wrong.  Utah Conservation Officer TJ Robertson was gracious enough to answer my email request, in which he explained the “information is correct and true,”and remarked that “this has truly been a crazy experience…. it has been amazing the publicity it has received.”

The following is the actual email story and pictures sent by Officer Robertson, seen in sunglasses in the foreground of the freed elk picture, who informed me that this took place on November 29, 2007 about, as stated in the email, 15 miles northeast of Monticello, Utah, which is in the southeastern region of the state.  He is joined in this rescue effort by Sergeant J. Shirley, the other officer in the photos.  Nice work guys.  And Thanks!

Guys,

Got a call that 2 bull elk were locked up and one was dead the other still alive.

The bulls were in a field about 15 miles northeast of Monticello.

When I got there I actually found 2 bulls locked antlers…  I thought this only happened in other areas…

J. and I were going to tranquilize the bull and saw the antlers… one problem, we did not have enough of the drugs to do a good job.  So we walked out there and sawed the one point off of the dead bull’s right antler and then we had to saw the main beam of the left antler to get the other bull free.  The whale tail was over the bull’s eyes, lodged between the eye guards.

When we cut it free the bull stood there for awhile catching its breath with the piece of the antler still in its antlers.  When it took off the piece of antler came out…

WOW!  This was for sure one of the most memorable days….

Enjoy the pics.

TJ Robertson
Conservation Officer
Moab District
State of Utah, Division of Wildlife Resources
Mortal Combat 1  Mortal Combat 2  Mortal Combat 3

Mortal Combat 4  Mortal Combat 5  Mortal Combat 6

Mortal Combat 7  Mortal Combat 8  Mortal Combat 9

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