Curious Colorado elk surprises kids by joining them for a game of soccer

Bull elk in woodland, USA
The unusual video shows the boys and the elk passing a red ball back and forth in what's clearly a game (Image credit: Getty)

We've been reporting on the unprecedented number of unprovoked elk attacks in Colorado lately, but yesterday brought some happier news in the wildlife world when an elk decided to join two kids for a game of soccer.

In an Instagram video posted by AccuWeather, which you can watch below, two kids in Evergreen can be seen kicking and tossing a red ball up a short embankment to where a curious elk is waiting. Each time, the elk returns the ball to the boys for another go. In the background, another elk can be seen grazing, seemingly disinterested in joining the fun.

It's highly unusual to see an elk interacting with humans in this way, and as one commenter writes, the video is "more proof of animal intelligence, curiosity and emotional capacity…we need to respect them more and not just view them as food or trophies."

Meanwhile, other viewers had fun with the footage, with one person commenting: "Please don’t do this, it’s very dangerous for elks to play soccer. She’ll grow up and become the first professional elk soccer player and replace Pelé, Maradona, Ronaldo."

Based on the surroundings, these kids are probably used to seeing elk wander into their backyard, but it's still a good idea to keep your distance from large mammals and enjoy them with a pair of binoculars rather than a soccer ball.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.