It is distressing to see any animal with a bag or a tin covering their head. In every instance the animal was looking for food and rummaging around with their tongue at the bottom of the bag or the base of a tin. The object becomes jammed on their head and bingo they are blinded and confused. It is not that uncommon. It is the first time I’ve seen an animal of this size with this problem. Their entire head and neck were covered by a feed bag. I presume that it’s a feed bag for livestock on a farm and the elk smelled it and was attracted to the bag and ended up like this. The event occurred on April 22, 2022 at St. Maries, Idaho, USA.
The elk is a member of the deer family. It is the largest and most advanced subspecies of red deer in North America and in the high mountains of central Asia. It is a member of the deer family Cervidae (order Artiodactyla).
I suppose, in the worst-case scenario, it could end up with the animal dying of starvation or thirst. However, a couple of outdoor guys were in the right place at the right time and one of them very gently and gingerly shimmies up to the elk to ensure that he did not frighten the animal and then grabs the bag and whips it off before the elk panics and does something silly like charge at him.
I suppose that we have to put this down to human carelessness in leaving a bag around on the ground where a animal might end up like this. I wonder if there are rules about leaving waste bags lying around? I very much doubt it.
Well done to him. It worked out well. The other man who was with the rescuer filmed the event. Remember in all these rescues, no matter how dramatic, there is always the video maker in the background which can change the complexion of the video. For instance, if the person in the video is abusing an animal and therefore committing a crime the video maker is, in my view, culpable as well. They are aiding and abetting. They are not stepping in to stop the act of abuse. This is exactly what happened to a couple of footballers in the UK. A premiership footballer abused his cat and a lower division footballer who was related to the main perpetrator videoed the abuse and uploaded it to the Internet. Both of them were charged with criminal behaviour.
Above is a screenshot of another video of an animal with something stuck on their head. In this case it is a bear with a very large jar attached to its head. The bear was swimming across a river. Fortunately, a couple guys in a boat managed to remove the jar. It seems that the bear was managing to survive like this for quite some time. I wonder if there are more cases of jars and bags stuck on the heads of wild animals than we like to think.
Below are some more articles on animal rescue.