Just stay away from the elk when you're on vacation!
With summer here, throngs of tourists are flocking to places like Colorado to take in the spectacular scenery and enjoy the wildlife. This is also around the time that many cow elk are just starting to give birth to their calves. It is a perfect mix for trouble brewing, and that was underscored recently with a video out of Evergreen, Colorado of a mother elk chasing away tourists that got too close.
Let this be a lesson in what NOT to do this summer if you are planning on visiting a place with a population of large wildlife.
According to Fox 31 News, this video, and several other reports of aggressive elk caused the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department to issue a statement warning that this is natural behavior and tourists would do best to give the animals a break.
"Cow elk will be exhibiting normal protective behavior of their young," CPW told the station. "You need to give wildlife extra space this time of year and be sure to keep dogs on leashes."
If Evergreen sounds familiar, that is because the area made national headlines last October when a golfer got sent to the hospital by an aggressive bull that gored him and sliced his kidney in half. The man lived, but it did result in more warnings to golfers using the course.
In case you are wondering how close is too close, it is best to probably go by the National Park Service's recommendations. They recommend staying 25 yards away from large herbivores and at least 100 yards away from carnivores like bears and wolves. These are a good rule of thumb whether you are in a National Park or not and will not only keep you safe, they will also ensure the animal's safety as well.