It's mating season for elk, and one particularly aggressive bull at Estes Park, Colorado, has been showing his dominance by charging anything in his way, including people and cars. A video of the animal on the attack, which you can see below, serves as a timely warning to give elk a wide berth during the rut, when bulls compete for the right to mate and are particularly unpredictable.
The clip, shared on YouTube by Colorado Wildlife & Adventure Videos, shows the elk making bluff charges at slow-moving traffic, and chasing away a man who accidentally strays too close.
Estes Park is a pretty town that often serves as a base for people visiting nearby Rocky Mountain National Park, but is also a tourist destination in its own right, largely thanks to its huge population of elk. They can be seen wandering throughout the town, and the local police force often has to gently guide them out of shops, but they are still wild animals and can be dangerous if they feel threatened.
Several people have been attacked by elk at Estes Park over the years after getting too close. In 2019, a woman was knocked down by a charging bull elk and a man fell and hit his head while fleeing. In 2012, a woman was trampled by a cow elk after accidentally getting too close to her calf, and spent several days being treated in hospital.
Watch elk safely
Local tourism site Visit Estes Park warns visitors to stay at least 75ft (23 meters) from elk at all times – and to take particular care during the animals' rutting season in the fall. An elk might seem calm at first, but its demeanor can quickly change.
"Always keep a safe distance, especially from the males (bulls), which can be aggressive as they defend their females (cows) from other bulls at this time of year," says the tourism office. "Give them room - use your zoom!"
For more tips, see our guide how to enjoy elk rutting season safely.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.