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ESTES PARK, Colo. – A wildlife photographer came to the rescue of an elk in distress on Wednesday.

Jackie Crivello set out early in the morning to photograph wildlife in Rocky Mountain National Park. She never expected to find her first subject tangled up in a swing.

Crivello saw the elk near a resort off Fall River Road in Estes Park. She pulled over and called 911 and was told someone was on their way to help.

“I knew he was in big trouble. I knew I had to help and I knew I couldn’t leave him there,” Crivello told KDVR.

However, the elk continued to struggle and no help arrived. One hour passed and then another.

“The elk was completely exhausted. It was three hours at this point,” she said.

Crivello called for help again, prepared to go cut the animal out of the swing if no one was on their way.

“It was a scary prospect. I’ll tell you that,” she said.

Finally, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer arrived and tranquilized the elk.

“He fell and his head was held up by the swing. I thought he died,” Crivello said.

The officer ran to cut him out of the swing and an hour later the elk woke up and sauntered back into the woods.

“You could see a bear or a mountain lion, you never know. Or an elk on a swing,” she said.