Seeing an elk in the wild is extremely special to witness — just don’t follow the lead of a man who spotted one in Colorado recently and made some questionable choices.
A TikToker captured footage of a bull elk outside of a laundromat in the town of Estes Park, and the video shows a man unwisely trying to approach the creature with food.
Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t take long for the elk to begin showing signs of breaking into a charge, lowering its antlers and taking a step toward the misguided gentleman.
@b.happycamper #bullelk #estesparkcolorado #estespark #coloradowildlife #elkrut #tourons #dontfeedtheanimals #elkbugling #keepyourdistance #elkrutcolorado #elk ♬ no no no no no no no no – #fypsounds
“This [tourist] is seriously trying to feed the bull elk,” they captioned the video. “Don’t feed the wildlife, y’all, and keep a safe distance.”
Thankfully, the man colorfully described as a “touron” in the video — tourist + moron = touron — was smart enough to retreat, leaving the elk to go about its day.
“Wow. Unbelievable,” commented one TikTok user.
“Be smart, don’t be like that guy at all,” said another.
According to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, bull elks can grow to around five feet tall and can weigh as much as 700 pounds. Further, an elk’s antlers can weigh as much as 40 pounds, so all in all, getting charged by the creature is likely to lead to some serious pain.
The person in the video might have known the bull was agitated as it was holding its head high, which is a clear sign, according to the RMEF. It’s difficult to tell in the video, but the elk might also have been laying its ears back and flaring its nostrils to signal annoyance.
Approaching wildlife to offer food may seem like a thrilling way to get in touch with nature, but one expert has noted that feeding wild animals can do more harm than good.
California State Parks conservationist John Griff explained on his TikTok account (@griffwild) that feeding non-domestic animals leads to them losing their fear of humans, which “rarely ever ends well.”
So when you see an elk out in the wild, just admire it from afar. Otherwise, you could do serious harm to the animal or yourself, as our TikTok subject nearly discovered to his detriment.
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