Oh, Deer! That’s No Moose on the Loose … It’s a Bull Elk!

Escaped Elk Eludes Waco Authorities 1:07

A wild bull elk moseyed into Waco, Texas, early Wednesday before leading cops on a 6½-hour chase through downtown streets and nearby woods, only to be defeated by a tranquilizer dart.

The elk, which the Cameron Park Zoo said appeared to be 2 to 3 years old, was just fine after he woke up, but by then he was on its way to an exotic animals ranch. The zoo said it doesn't have an elk enclosure and couldn't take in the lumbering animal.

"We have bison, white-tailed deer and some African antelope, but no elk," zoo Director Jim Fleshman told NBC station KCEN of Waco.

The elk was first spotted in the yard of a resident who misidentified it as a moose about 6 a.m. (7 a.m. ET), Waco police said.

It wasn't taken down until after noon and was recovered from a heavily forested area near Waco Creek about 12:30 p.m. after a slow-speed hooved pursuit through the Bells Hill Park neighborhood of south Waco.

"As luck would have it, the elk fell in the most heavily wooded area of part of the creek," Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said, so "it obviously took a team effort" to haul it out.

"Very, very weird. ... I've never seen an elk in Waco, Texas," Waco resident Darlene Sowder told KCEN. "My initial thought was we've got to lock the door down because they're after somebody, and then I found out, no."

No animal adventure is complete without social media, so of course the elk had a Twitter account hours before he was captured.

At 12:06 p.m., about the time a marksman shot the elk with a tranquilizer dart, this tweet went out: