Immobilization of Elk, Cervus elaphus, with Telezol and Xylazine and Reversal with Tolazine or Yohimbine


  • Rick Rosatte Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Wildlife Research and Development Section, Trent University, DNA Building, 2140 East Bank Drive, Peterborough, Ontario K9J 7B8



Cervus elaphus, Elk, antagonist, immobilization, reversal agent, Telazol®, Tolazine, Yohimbine, Ontario


During January 2003 and March 2005, a Telazol®/xylazine mixture was used to immobilize 4 free-ranging Elk in Ontario, Canada. A dosage of 3.3-3.6 mg/kg of Telazol® and 1.7-2.0 mg/kg of xylazine proved to be effective for the rapid immobilization of Elk. Induction time for those dosages was as short as 3-4 minutes. The advantage of using Telazol® is that only small volumes (3-4 ml) are needed to immobilize Elk-sized animals. In addition, Tolazine® and yohimbine both proved to be effective antagonists for xylazine with recovery times of 8 to 15 minutes when administered at dosages of 3.3-3.6 and 0.08-0.14 mg/kg, respectively. The use of oxygen proved to be effective for treatment of hyoxemia in Elk immobilized with a Telazol®/xylazine mixture. The immobilization procedures and the drug and antagonist dosage information will be useful to researchers planning to capture free-ranging Elk for activities such as radio-collaring and blood sampling.