Elk Attack on City Sidewalk Ends With Woman Antlered to the Ground

A trip to Colorado (especially Estes Park) this time of year can be fantastic. The fall colors begin to change, there's a coolness to the mountain air, and the wildlife in the area comes alive during the fall mating season. Oh, and the elk get extremely unpredictable. This video shows the unfortunate encounter between one of those unpredictable rutting elk, driven a little bonkers due to the hormones driving through his body, and a seemingly innocent human. Usually these sorts of videos can be written off to a bad decision by the human. This appears a bit more unprovoked, but a bull elk in rut should still be given their space. Let it serve as a lesson to those visiting or living in an area prone to elk encounters: don't mess with them and keep your distance. You never know when something like this can happen.

Post originally published in September, 2019.

There wasn't much information provided along with the video, other than the Estes Park location. Apparently, a parks worker drove his truck between the woman and the aggressive elk immediately following the attack, but there was not word as to the person's condition. Estes Park, Colorado is near Rocky Mountain National Park, and known to be one of the likeliest places you'll see a bull or cow elk.

How to avoid an elk attack, and what to do if you can't

A bull elk bugles in a meadow

Experts say elk attacks can be avoided by keeping your distance, as much as three bus lengths, and watching for aggressive warning signs like grinding teeth or pointed ears. If an elk charges, do not stand your ground and do not attempt to fight back. Immediately move out of the way, preferably behind some sort of obstacle.

No matter how comfortable we may feel in a developed environment, coexistence with wildlife should always be taken into consideration. The elk species was here before we were, and there should be a level of respect within that fact. Whether you're in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, or any state that holds elk, learn to keep a safe distance at all times, not just the fall breeding season.