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CPW reminds residents to hang holiday decorations with wildlife in mind

Posted at 12:47 PM, Nov 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-24 14:49:51-05
A pair of antlers so tangled in Christmas lights that they had to be sawed off the buck.


COLORADO – Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time for many of us to hang our lights and other holiday decorations.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife wants to remind you that when you do hang your holiday decorations, keep Colorado’s wildlife in mind.

Every year CPW receives reports and photos of wildlife, particularly antlered animals, getting tangled in Christmas lights and holiday decorations. Recently in Salida, a mule deer buck got himself tangled in a rope being used for an outdoor display of decorations. CPW staff and members of the Salida Fire Departments were able to free the buck, but CPW said he is still carrying around some of the rope.

To prevent animals from getting snared, CPW suggests that decorations be wrapped tightly around posts and trees. They recommend hanging lights at least six feet off the ground for the entire length and fastening them securely at both ends. Lights should not be draped over bushes or trees.

CPW also suggests putting away other items that deer and elk can get tangled in, such as volleyball nets, tricycles, wire, garden tools, hammocks, and swings.

If you see an animal tangled in decorations, call the nearest CPW office and a wildlife officer will attempt to find the animal and determine if it is in a life-threatening situation.