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Bull Elk Charges at Tourists Who Venture Too Close to His Harem

Estes Park in Colorado is a popular spot for scenic hiking and the area sees a lot of tourists throughout the seasons. It's also home to more than 2,500 elk. Of course, when hoards of people and wildlife mix, you can end up with some pretty dangerous situations. That becomes especially true when the animals are not given the proper amount of space and consideration.

In a video posted to the Instagram account, @Touronsofyellowstone, a group of hikers come upon a bull elk and his harem of cows who are bedded down in a grassy field.

The bull is definitely not thrilled with the visitors' presence, though he's sitting very close to the trail. Regardless, it's not the elk's responsibility to keep distance, it's the human's requirement to choose another path. While four tourists make it by the bull, the antlered mammal decides he has had enough once the fifth person begins to approach.

The man barely makes it by before the bull stands up and begins to charge, antlers first. The man kept a watchful eye as he walked past and was able to react quickly and run. We're pretty sure that if the elk wanted to, he could have caught him.

The amped-up bull didn't exactly settle back down. Instead, he trotted along the path until he felt his cows were safe from the human intruders, then moved in to stand closer to his ladies.

During rutting season, bull elk are even more on edge than normal, with seemingly nothing but mating on the brain. To this adult elk, the human intrusion was just too much to handle. Thankfully, he was satisfied with chasing them down the trail and didn't harm anyone.

There is an important lesson to be learned from this situation. Wherever you are hiking or walking, keep at least 25 yards between yourself and any elk. Otherwise, you might find yourself high-tailing it away from a  700-pound, hormone-fueled freight train on hooves.

READ MORE: Elk Sounds and What They Mean When You Hear Them