This is why you always keep your distance from an animal with offspring.
No matter the species, a mother will do almost anything to protect her young. And, when you're dealing with an animal the size of an elk, you surely don't want to test her.
Charlene Triplett, a 51-year-old woman from Las Vegas, found herself on the receiving end of a mother elk's unpredictability June 3, 2018. A cow elk protecting its calf kicked the woman multiple times in the head and back. Her injuries would require air transport to an Idaho hospital for medical attention.
An employee of Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Triplett was behind the building when she encountered the animal. According to park officials, the cow was about 20 feet away, hidden behind some parked cars.
No citation has been issued, as rangers still don't know if the woman saw the elk or its calf before being attacked.
Officials advise park visitors to keep their distance from elk, especially those with calves.