Two bull elk will be locked together forever after drowning, antlers entwined, in a Garfield County pond.
Brian Petska spotted the two bulls at the ranch owned by his brother Bruce. He runs cattle there.
It’s rutting season, and the bulls were apparently fighting over a cow. No one’s sure how the approximately 800-pound animals landed in the water.
They were not emaciated at all,’’ said Brian’s daughter, Kendra Brinkman. “They were big and healthy.’’
The bulls were pulled from the water, and the capes salvaged and taken to Harmon’s Taxidermy in Bassett, where they will be mounted together.
One bull rough-scored 360 and the other 335.
The meat wasn’t salvaged because of the warmer temperatures.
“The coyotes and scavengers will have a buffet,’’ Brinkman said.
Brinkman said the family wishes they could have found the animals earlier, to see if either could have been saved. But it might have been impossible anyhow.
“Those are huge wild animals,’’ she said. “How would you get close enough to help them in any way.’’
Elk aren’t a common sight in that part of the state, and Brinkman said it’s a shame to lose two beautiful specimens. Only six to 12 of the animals have been seen in the area.
“They are just amazing. They are just so big and pretty,’’ she said. “Their capes are pretty, their antlers are pretty.’’