Elk NetworkCow Elk Saved from Muddy Fate

General | August 31, 2023

Below is a Facebook post from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Last week WDFW Officers Hillman and Barabasz along with WDFW Wildlife Conflict Specialist Kallman, responded to a report of an elk stuck in the mudflats of the Dosewallips River near Dosewallips State Park. A group from the Department of Agriculture first spotted the elk with just its head visible above the water, they were able to fashion a makeshift sling and move the elk slightly to a shallower area so that it didn’t drown in the tide. As the tide receded the WDFW officers and State Park Ranger Featherstone were able to formulate a plan to free the elk from the deep muck.

WDFW Officers Hillman and Barabasz got into the muck and were able to utilize their Swift Water rope rescue training and rig a harness around the elk. Park staff utilized a UTV to pull the elk carefully from the muck and back onto solid ground. Where the exhausted elk was able to recover its strength. The team was under a time crunch as the larger evening high tide would have covered the elk entirely underwater.

Click here to see additional rescue photos.

(Photo credit: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.)