Don’t mess with a mother elk. If these tourists at Yellowstone National Park didn’t know that before, they certainly do now.
Instagrammer Tyler Reid (@tylerj.reid) sent video footage to the TouronsOfYellowstone account showing what happened when a couple of park visitors tried to get close-up pictures of an elk calf while walking through the park.
Suffice to say, momma elk was not happy, and the tourists had to make a quick retreat, running down a path to get out of the way of the charging matriarch.
“Elk was charging everyone protecting her calf. People running away tried taking an up close picture,” Reid said.
The TouronsOfYellowstone account added its own experience as a warning: “This time of the year the cow elk are having their babies, a lot of times they’ll stash them somewhere to go eat while watching from a distance.
“You could just be walking by minding your own business and happen to walk by an elk calf without even knowing it. I have been chased by a cow elk before. It’s NOT fun! Those gals will kick your a**‼️”
According to the National Park Service, female elks (also called cows) are shorter than the typically 5-foot bull elks and can weigh around 500 pounds. That’s not something you want to be hit by at the best of times, but a protective mother will probably add a little extra force to any charge.
“They are putting both mother and baby at risk. Wolves and bears would love to eat that baby elk. Stop interfering with nature,” one commenter said.
“That just happened to me today while hiking. It was terrifying,” added another.
Among the rules put in place by Yellowstone National Park, top of the list advises against “Willfully remaining near or approaching wildlife, including nesting birds, within any distance that disturbs or displaces the animal.”
Even though it’s the very first safety regulation for visitors, many don’t seem to be able to help themselves.
In another incident at Yellowstone, one man was pinned by a bison after getting within an uncomfortably close range.
So next time you go to Yellowstone, keep to the tracks, and don’t disturb the wildlife. Otherwise, you might find yourself on the wrong end of a mother elk’s wrath.
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