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George stands up

...With the elk too exhausted to move, McClain said he contacted a friend — Division of Wildlife manager Bill Andree — who came to McClain's home at 7:30 a.m. Sunday to perform an awesome feat of elk wrangling to get the animal into a normal lying position.

“Risking life and limb to save this elk, he was the one who gave this elk a chance,” McClain said. “Bill is a hell of an elk wrangler.”

But the elk was still too tired to maintain his position, and by morning, it had flopped over again. “I don't think he's going to make it,” McClain said late Monday morning. “He's just sitting here suffering.”

McClain canceled his Sunday and Monday engagements to watch over his guest, who he's named George. He chased a neighbor's dog away from the animals and shooed away a few magpies to had begun to peck at the elk.

McClain wondered whether it wouldn't be more humane to put George out of his misery, but Jason Duetsch, also a manager with the Division of Wildlife disagreed.
“It seems like the animal didn't have any injuries,” Duetsch said. “It just looked extremely weak. Usually, our policy is we really don't want to put down animals if they don't have any injuries. The animal deserves to have that chance to try to make it and regain that strength to make it until the snow melts a little more.”

George took his chance, and early Monday afternoon, he finally stood — a good sign.
“These animals might stay sedentary for a number of days before they can move around, but a lot of times, they do make it,” Duetsch said.

Finally on its feet, the elk nibbled on bark and dried berries. Although George isn't out of the woods yet, McClain was heartened by his progress. “Finally, a story with a happy ending,” McClain said.

Read the whole story here:

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