elk charges at a tourist
Tourons of Yellowstone Instagram

'Stressed' Elk Charges at Tourist Invading His Personal Space

A tourist visiting the area near Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado got a little too near a bull elk, coming dangerously close to a meeting with the business end of his antlers.

Estes Park is known for having an impressive elk herd, but they aren't too fond of visitors encroaching on their personal space. TouronsOfYellowstone shared an Instagram video from user Megan Foster showing the encounter. In the caption, she writes, "THIS IDIOT! This went on for 15 minutes. The male elk was so stressed out. It was sad."

Elk are territorial and will charge, especially if people are aggravating them. In an interview, Foster told Fox 7, "We were trying to get away from him because we knew he was going to make one of them mad enough to hurt someone." But the man stood there, continuing to taunt the rather large bull elk. Foster said, "What you don't see in the video is six other bulls that (the bull elk) was also trying to keep away from his herd. He was very stressed; he was drooling and peeing everywhere, trying to mark his territory."

The man made noises to get a response from the animal, and he definitely got a response, though it may not have been the one he was looking for. Instead of getting some face shots of the elk, he was almost gored by its antlers. As he ran away, the elk narrowly missed hitting the tourist in the back. It appeared satisfied when the man was off the grass and back on the path, and the elk trotted back to its herd.

"I couldn't watch it anymore; it was very sad to see this animal go through this," Foster told Fox 7. "When we left, a ranger was walking around the area, and I went and told him. I don't know what happened after that."

READ MORE: Tourist Encouraged By Family to Pet a Bull Elk Relaxing in the Grass