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Elk with tire stuck around neck illustrates need for proper scrap tire disposal

Elk with tire stuck around neck. Credit: Colorado Parks and WildlifeFor two years, residents in Colorado reported seeing an elk with a tire stuck around its neck. When Colorado Parks and Wildlife was successful at removing the tire (after repeated attempts over the two-year period), the account went viral.

The story underscored the importance of proper disposal of scrap tires. Improper disposal can result in tires that are dumped, burned or become a mosquito breeding habitat, says Kirsten Clemens, scrap tire coordinator at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

But as the elk anecdote illustrates, tires left outdoors can also become a hazard to wildlife, says Lt. Gerald Thayer, of the Michigan Department of Nature Resources' (DNR) law enforcement division. Earlier this year, the department reported that over 500 tires were dumped in several locations in and near the Allegan State Game Area, where they created a hazard for wildlife and an environmental problem. DNR's Wildlife Division cleaned up all the tires in cooperation with area partners. The department has completed the investigation into the matter and has requested warrants.

To help Michigan residents properly dispose of scrap tires, EGLE awards grants to communities around the state that hold scrap tire collections. It also provides a list of scrap tire facilities.

EGLE's Scrap Tire webpage has additional information.

Residents who encounter illegal tire dumping should contact the DNR Report All Poaching Hotline at 1-800-292-7800. You can call or text 24/7 and remain anonymous.

Caption: Elk with tire stuck around neck. Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

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