Watch: 'Stressed' bull elk charges at photographer in Estes Park, Colorado
Rocky Mountain National Park said elk herds could reach as high as 800 in the winter. They can be seen anytime, but a popular viewing period is the fall rut, or mating season.
ESTES PARK, Colo. – A stressed bull elk with large antlers was seen charging toward a man photographing the animal in Colorado.
The event unfolded on September 24 during elk rutting season in Estes Park. Megan Foster recorded a video showing the elk walking toward a group of tourists before setting sights on a man who, she said, had been making a noise to get a response from the animal.
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"We were trying to get away from him, because we knew he was going to make one of them mad enough to hurt someone," Foster said. "What you don’t see in the video is six other bulls that (the bull elk) was also trying to keep away from his herd. He was very stressed; he was drooling and peeing everywhere, trying to mark his territory."
The man seen in the video is fine, according to Foster.
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"I couldn’t watch it anymore; it was very sad to see this animal go through this," she said. "When we left a ranger was walking around the area and I went and told him. I don’t know what happened after that."
Elk are commonly spotted in the Centennial State, and officials with Colorado Parks & Wildlife believe there are somewhere north of 280,000 of the mammals that roam the state.
Elk spend much of their time at or above treeline during the summer, moving to lower elevations in the fall, winter and spring, according to the Rocky Mountain National Park said. They can be seen anytime, but a popular viewing period is the fall rut, or mating season.
The peak of elk rut in Rocky Mountain National Park generally lasts from mid-September to mid-October, although it is often possible to hear elk bugling into November.
And when you spot wildlife in the park, you should keep at least 75 feet or two bus-lengths away, according to park officials. For more dangerous animals like black bears, moose and mountain lions, a distance of at least 120 feet or three bus-lengths should be given.