Animal escapades often make good stories, especially if they have happy endings, but that wasn't the case for one unlucky elk in Canada, this week, when two hunters spotted the poor beast trapped in mud, but decided it was too dangerous to rescue it, and left it to die.
The incident happened at the Kluane National Park, in the Yukon, when William Rogers and Roger Williams came upon the magnificent animal, which had inadvertently wandered about 20 meters into a quagmire of mud, and was stuck fast.
Mr Rogers said:
"We love animals, and elks are beautiful creatures. We thought for ten minutes about how we were going to bring it out to safety, but there was a lot of danger, and we were frightened we might end up in the same position as the elk."
"I agree. And I have an irrational fear of mud. And spiders. And heights. I was scared, and, although elks are noble animals, they're not worth risking your life for."
The elk said nothing, but thought a lot about cowardice.