How many times will park officials have to warn visitors against taking “selfies” with wild animals? Yellowstone National Park is not a zoo, and the wildlife there are not tame. A tourist visiting the park on Friday was charged by a cow elk after she attempted to take a photo with the animal on her phone. The video of the incident was recorded by a tour guide, Jody Tibbitts, as he attempted to warn the woman of the dangers in getting too close to wildlife.
“Ma’am? Ma’am? Could you please…?” Tibbitts was heard saying in the video before the elk rushed her.
Thankfully, the woman in the video appears to be unhurt after the charge, but it certainly won’t be an experience she’d want to repeat anytime soon.
“That elk had just given birth to a calf,” Tibbitts explained to ABC News. “I think the only reason she attacked was that she had a calf and she was protecting her young.”
Elk may appear meek, but visitors to Yellowstone should never forget how powerful these animals are. Park officials warn tourists to stay at least 25 yards away from wildlife, and 100 yards away from large predators. Harassing wildlife can not only be hazardous to your health, but also illegal. Just earlier last month, two visitors to Yellowstone “kidnapped” a bison calf they had assumed was cold and attempted to bring it to a ranger station. Their actions ultimately resulted in park rangers having to euthanize the calf after it was no longer possible to reunite it with its mother.