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Seeing both sides of: leaving elk tangled in trash alone
The case for
There’s no need to disturb the animals and cause any unnecessary trauma.
As upsetting as it is to the elk, more harm would be done by tranquilizing them.
Once their antlers fall off, the trash will simply go with them and the problem’s solved without too much fuss.
Perhaps conservation officers’ time would be better spent going after poachers who really cause the elk harm.
The case against
Once one item gets tangled in an elk’s antlers, more will soon follow.
Even though the elk can get extremely stressed, it probably is in their best interests to have the items removed in any way possible.
The short-term panic will be worth the long-term gain that results for them once action has been taken.