Whidbey elk picks wrong tarp to tangle with

Bruiser, it seems, can’t catch a break these days.

Whidbey Island’s lone resident elk got his antlers tangled up with a bicycle about three weeks ago, then a bucket and most recently a plastic tarp.

Coming down from the rut season, the elk is often at his most ornery and is proving that again this year by his run-ins with inanimate objects around his North Whidbey stomping grounds in recent weeks.

He had the bike attached to his antlers for a day or two — longer than when he was connected to a 10-speed for about a week last year, said Ralph Downes, enforcement officer with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The bucket didn’t stay on long but the tarp problem has hung around for an extended period of time.

“He’s just about got that tarp whipped,” Downes wrote in a recent email. “It was new and in good shape when he first wrapped it up a week and a half back. I’m thinking that a few good shakes of his head and he’ll be clear of it.”

Downes said he expects Bruiser to be settling down soon. The bull has lived on North Whidbey for four years and is the only known elk on the island.

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