Never, ever get between a bull elk and its harem—or you may very well find a set of pointy antlers coming your way. Officials said a man was bored by a bull elk in Estes Park, Colorado after he moved through an elk herd to take pictures.
Yes, you read that correctly. Instead of taking pictures from a safe distance, the tourist decided to mingle with the cows and photograph them up close.
That did not go well with the resident bull elk.
“The elk, he wasn’t doing anything wrong. The man was very blatantly in his space,” Marci Bowden, who witnessed the encounter, told ABC 7.
Bystanders said the bull appeared very agitated and was making aggressive moves towards the photographer, which included lowering its antlers. The man appeared to notice the danger and was moving away when the elk charged and knocked him down. When the man was able to stand up again, Bowden said she noticed that he was bleeding from his back. The man was rushed to a hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
That does not mean he’s in the clear just yet. Wildlife officials say they are considering charging the man with harassment of wildlife.
“It’s not appropriate. It’s actually pretty stupid,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesperson Jennifer Churchill.
Officials advise that wild animals should be left alone and never approached.