During the elk rut, bulls can get quite aggressive. The testosterone is flowing through them, and they are looking to fight rivals for the rights to mate with females. However, they often end up settling for anything that happens to invade what they deem as their personal space, even if it happens to be a piece of machinery that outweighs it by thousands of pounds. Check this amazing footage from Estes Park, Colorado to get a better idea of what we're talking about. This massive 8x6 bull is out wandering around in traffic, and the vehicles have little choice but to go around him. However, the bull quickly takes an intense interest in a blue GMC pickup truck that just happens to be driving past. The large bull lowers his head and tries to face off with the truck.
This bull is clearly spoiling for a fight, and it makes for a tense minute or so as the occupants of that pickup are probably wondering if the side of their vehicle is about to get scratched by a massive set of antlers.
This is a good example of why you should always slow down and take things easy when you're driving near elk this time of year. This bull was fiercely protective of his cows and wasn't about to be intimidated by a vehicle. That's just the frame of mind the rut puts these animals in. They are always dangerous to humans, but even more so during the rut.
Meanwhile, that white SUV nearly got into a head-on collision trying to go around the pickup being cornered by the elk. We'd say the driver of the truck handled things as best they could in this situation. They drove off once the bull gave a small opening, but they also prevented injury to the animal by being patient and waiting to move away until the coast was clear.
Things could have gotten ugly if the animal decided to ram the vehicle. We've seen it on video before, and it's not exactly something you'll want to explain to your insurance company after the fact. Take this video as a warning to give elk a wide berth if you encounter them this fall. They aren't animals to mess around with!
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