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

Rick Rosatte


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.


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

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