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See hormone-fueled bull elk take out frustration on Yellowstone ranger's truck

Bull elk in field bellowing
(Image credit: Getty)

A visitor to Yellowstone National Park has captured a moment when one of the local elk took a dislike to a ranger's moving truck and headbutted it at full speed. The video, which you can watch below, shows the animal charge the vehicle, making contact hard with its antlers.

The video was shared by Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone (opens in new tab), which usually focuses on foolish behavior of park visitors, but occasionally highlights rangers' wildlife encounters as well.

We're currently in the middle of elk rutting season, when males (known as bulls) are at their most spectacular – displaying their antlers, bugling, and clashing with rivals for the attention of a mate. However, they can also be irritable and aggressive, so it pays to be cautious when watching them.

This incident took place at Mammoth Hot Springs, just south of Yellowstone's north entrance, which is home to elk all year round. According to the National Park Service (opens in new tab), "each year visitors are chased, trapped, and sometimes injured by elk," which can be unpredictable.

The NPS advises always staying at least 25 yards (23 meters) from elk, and never approaching or feeding the animals. When hiking in elk country, you should also keep your dog on a leash, and be aware of the warning signs that an elk feels threatened, such as ear pointing and tooth grinding.  For more advice, see our guide how to enjoy elk rutting season safely.

Cat Ellis
Editor

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 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).