A large bull elk was caught on camera charging at a crowd of people in Colorado this week, an attack that only ended after a public works employee drove his truck into the melee.
The incident happened on Thursday morning in Estes Park, which is the base camp for the wildlife-filled Rocky Mountain National Park. Local park officials said the elk are currently entering into their annual breeding season, known as a “rut.” It is reported that the bull was startled by the flash of a person’s camera.
In the footage, the large animal can be seen charging at a group of about eight people, who quickly dispersed. It runs at a man, who dives out of the way to avoid being hit. A woman was not as lucky, however. She was briefly dragged on the sidewalk by the elk’s antlers.
The Colorado wildlife agency says the breeding season begins in October and ends around late January. Elk can stand up to 5 feet tall at the shoulder and mature bulls may exceed 1,000 pounds.
“During the rut in the fall, deer and elk can become dangerously aggressive. Bucks and bulls may attack without provocation, so give them plenty of space,” an online elk fact-sheet explains.