Imagine that every single day in your own backyard you’re surrounded by tourists who insist on filming you and taking pictures to share on their social accounts.
For this bull elk in Estes Park in Colorado, it’s an unfortunate reality. And, it’s safe to say, it has had enough.
@flannelsorflipflops Seriously. Give wild animals space and respect. #elk #elkrut #colorado #estespark #rockymountainnationalpark ♬ original sound – Flannels or FlipFlops
Travel blogger Flannels or FlipFlops (@flannelsorflipflops) uploaded footage to their TikTok account of the wild deer bugling on a bridge in the Rocky Mountain National Park.
After deciding to finish its crossing, several tourists were blocking the path on the other side, and nearly all had their camera phones out to record the encounter.
But the elk had no patience to wait around until they moved out of the way, so it lowered its head and bluff charged. The tourists were, somehow, caught unaware and made a quick exit.
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Amazingly, when the danger seemed to have passed, most then resumed filming.
“Seriously. Give wild animals space and respect,” Flannels or FlipFlops captioned the post.
“It was sad,” they continued. “And people continued to follow him around after this. We zoomed in to get the video, we aren’t as close as it seems.”
Indeed, the Rocky Mountain National Park website asks that visitors remain 75 feet away from elk at all times.
While they are undoubtedly incredible to witness in the wild, humans have a significant responsibility when finding themselves in the presence of elk.
The Rocky Mountain National Park has warned that some wildlife watchers are “loving park animals to death.” For example, feeding junk food to wildlife will make it more difficult for the animals to survive the harsh winter.
Furthermore, if animals get too acquainted with humans, their natural fear instincts decrease, making them more prone to predators. They also become more aggressive if their inhibitions are lowered, and they could become a danger to humans. If this occurs, they may be euthanized.
“When will people realize that isn’t a petting zoo,” one TikToker commented on the video. “Keep your distance, he can expire you.”
If you truly respect these magnificent creatures, watch from a safe distance, and let them roam free without being pestered.
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