A man visiting Glacier National Park recently had a narrow escape when he got on the wrong side of a large male elk. The man, who was standing close to the animal in a parking lot, ignored signs that the elk was unhappy, including lowering of the head and snorting.
As you can see in a video recorded by another park visitor, the elk then bluff charged the man, causing him to fall head-over-heels as he attempted to escape, and nearly rolled under a moving car.
The clip was shared on Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone (opens in new tab), which highlights bad behavior at US National Parks – particularly when people get too chose to wildlife,
A post shared by TouronsOfYellowstone (@touronsofyellowstone) (opens in new tab)
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According to the National Park Service (opens in new tab), you should always stay at least 25 yards (23 meters) away from elk, and that's particularly true in late summer and early fall during the animals' mating season (known as the rut). At this time, males compete with one another for dominance by displaying their antlers, butting heads, and bugling.
It's spectacular to fitness, but the animals tend to be unpredictable and aggressive as they defend their territory, and can be dangerous if you're too close. It's best to observe them from afar using a telephoto lens, or a pair of the best binoculars.
If you're unlucky enough to be charged by an elk, try to get behind cover immediately. For more advice, see our guide how to enjoy elk rutting season safely.
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).
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