VIDEO: Yellowstone Tourists Chased by Mother Elk
Written by Jessi Entel on July 11, 2023
Last week, a couple was chased in Yellowstone National Park when they stumbled across an irritated mother elk.
Recorded by Audra Byer, the video was shared by TouronsOfYellowstone, a social media profile that showcases bad behavior in National Parks. The video shows two people walking along a path when a cow elk charged toward the pair without the couple provoking the animal.
Although a baby elk is not visible, it is very likely the the cow elk was just being a protective mother. One of the ways mother elk keep their calf elk safe is by hiding them in long grass or shrubs. When potential threats get near, they are not afraid to charge anyone who accidentally strays too near to their baby.
Some elk may simply chase potential threats away, while other will attack them with their hooves causing serious injuries. Male elk are most aggressive during their mating season, known as the rut, which occurs in the fall. Females tend to be more aggressive during the spring and early summer when their calves are young.
This is not the first time this summer tourist season park visitors have been chased by protective cow elk. Last month, a tourist came too close to a cow elk and they were chased by a protective mother elk.
Sometimes encountering wildlife can’t be avoided, as it appears to be the case in the video below. However it is imperative to always be mindful of your surrounding, especially when you are in an area with unpredictable wildlife.
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The National Park Service released a statement saying, “It’s very common for cow elk to aggressively defend newborn calves and hide them near buildings and cars. Be extra cautious anywhere elk and calves are present: approach blind corners slowly and maintain a safe distance (at least 25 yards).”
While in nature, it is important to pay attention to your surroundings. Wildlife are unpredictable and when startled, they will either run away or attack.