Still, some photographers and tourists keep thinking that they will manage to get away with getting too close. Well, not with this bull elk. When a tourist came too close to it to take photos or video, the animal charged at the man, and the whole incident was caught on camera.
The incident took place on 24 September in Estes Park, Colorado. With elk rutting season in full swing, some tourists and photographers still go pretty close to the animals. You can see two of them in the video, and the elk decided to show one of them what it thought about invading its personal space (I kinda understand the animal, though).
“We were trying to get away from him, because we knew he was going to make one of them mad enough to hurt someone,” said Megan Foster, who filmed the video. “What you don’t see in the video is six other bulls that [the bull elk] was also trying to keep away from his herd. He was very stressed; he was drooling and peeing everywhere, trying to mark his territory.”
Thankfully, the man in the video is fine and no one was hurt. As you can see, the elk gave it something of a warning and didn’t hit him too hard with its antlers. Because if it did… Well, it probably wouldn’t have ended well. Foster added that she had to walk away because of how some tourists were acting around the elk. “I couldn’t watch it anymore; it was very sad to see this animal go through this,” she said. “When we left a ranger was walking around the area and I went and told him. I don’t know what happened after that.”
Rocky Mountain National Park says that the mating season is a popular viewing period for tourists. Many elk spend time at lower elevations during this time, so people come to observe them and, of course, take photos. Needless to say that the animals are not fond of it, which this elk clearly expressed. The National Park Service urges visitors to minimize any disturbance to the animals and warns tourists to “observe and photograph from a distance comfortable to the elk.“
How can you know if you’re too close? „If the elk move away or their attention is diverted you are too close,” the National Park Service writes. So, don’t be this person. respect the animals and keep your distance, so both you and them are safe and comfortable.