Veterinarian Frees Elk Caught in Tire Swing After She Awoke to Find Animal in Her Backyard

When Debera Butler saw an elk in her backyard one morning, she said: "I literally had to do a double take."

This poor elk just didn't seem to realize the tire swing wasn't made for him to play in.

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Debera Butler, DVM, a veterinarian from Pine, Arizona, awoke Saturday morning to find the elk in her backyard.

Though she was no stranger to large animals visiting her home, she was shocked to see what used to be a tire swing stuck and tangled in the animal's antlers.

"I literally had to do a double take," she said in an interview with KPHO. "I thought, 'I'm not seeing what I think I'm seeing.' Literally, this poor guy had a tire swing all hung, tangled in his antlers."

She and her neighbors guessed that the elk had ended up in her backyard in search of a lady elk, since it's mating season, and that could make the elk all the more dangerous.

"Their hormones are raging so this time of year, they do stuff and get in trouble," Butler said.

While her neighbors watched the animal from a distance, scared, Butler said that as a veterinarian, she felt it was her duty to free the poor animal, even though larger animals aren't necessarily part of her expertise.

"I was so determined that I was going to help him," Butler said. "I'm known as the fuff fuff dogs doctor. This couldn't be any further from what I do."

Butler said she worked around the elk calmly, and gauged the animal's behavior to judge when she could get closer, and when she would have to duck.

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Finally, 12 hours later, the wild animal can be seen in Butler's video swinging his antlers free, as she jumps up and down, cheering for the elk's freedom.

Because of her heroic rescue, she joked, "my neighbors are calling me the elk whisperer."

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