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BRIGHTON, Colo. — A life-sized metal elk statue was stolen off a Brighton couple’s property, only to be tracked down and saved from scrapping at a nearby recycling yard.
“It’s a big elk. I mean it was a huge surprise,” Terri Broersma said about the gift she gave to her husband years ago.
The nearly nine-foot-tall, 300-pound aluminum sculpture is of a male bull elk with a full rack of white antlers. It was stolen out of the Broersmas' front yard sometime last week.
“It’s pretty brazen to come all they way down the driveway and steal the elk,” Broersma said, guessing that the thieves tipped it onto a trailer and drove off.
To make things worse, this all happened while Terri’s husband was dealing with complications from treatment for cancer, and has been in and out of the hospital. She says he was “devastated.”
“I didn’t think I’d ever find it again. I mean what are the odds?” she said.
That attitude changed after a family member posted the story on social media and a family friend responded.
“He was recycling cans this last Saturday and that’s when he saw the elk in the scrap yard,” Terri said.
She and her brother immediately followed the lead and went to Brighton Recycling on Highway 85. They found the elk statue standing in the middle of the yard’s main building. It had been pulled off of a heap set to be scrapped for aluminum.
“It’s unbelievable. I’m thrilled and my husband is thrilled,” Terri said with a smile.
She said the statue was brought in and sold as scrap metal for $15. She paid the yard $20 to help her load it onto a trailer so she could take it home.
“The elk went roaming, didn’t it?” she laughed.
With the help of her brother, the elk was driven back to the Broersma property. Terri said the plan was to put the statue in the back yard instead of the front, still in view from her home, to the delight of her husband.
“I’m very happy he got his elk home,” she said.