Colo FFs Help Rescue Wolf Hybrid

BOULDER, Colo. --

A wolf-hybrid got its head stuck in a steel pipe on Tuesday and had to be cut free by animal rescuers.

The wolf was "in fine condition with only some minor cuts and scrapes," after the hours-long ordeal, said Dr. Christopher Blum, a veterinarian at the Table Mountain Veterinary Clinic in Golden.

Rescuers cut the pipe from around the animal's head.

The wolf-hybrid was playing when she got her head stuck in a pipe that was 6 inches in diameter, a half-inch thick and 8 feet long. The animal hadn't been seen for a few hours before it was found in the pipe.

Coal Creek firefighters initially cut the pipe to about 1 foot long, which made the wolf and the pipe portable. However, the wolf's head was still stuck. Metal welded inside the pipe reportedly trapped the wolf's head. The wolf and the pipe were transported 20 miles to the Table Mountain Veterinary Clinic.

"From the moment the wolf was brought to the clinic until it was freed, all of us melded together into a cohesive team. That made the difference," Blum said.

Brandy Perkins, an animal control officer in Boulder County, said that without the assistance of several agencies, "this wolf would have died, no question."

When the wolf was brought to the clinic, it was "dehydrated and stressed," according to the Boulder Emergency Squad, a volunteer technical rescue team that helped rescue the wolf. IVs were started and vital signs monitored as rescuers used a side grinder to slowly cut away of the metal to get the wolf's head out.

"The 'operation' was a success", said BES Chief Andrew Moschetti after the wolf was cleared from the pipe.

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