A Colorado golfer has been gored by a bull elk while riding his golf cart on the Evergreen Course, and is currently recovering from the near-death experience.
Golf courses are crafted to feel serene and beautiful. The Evergreen Golf Course in Colorado, however, has something not many other courses can claim: Evergreen is full of magnificent elk.
“They’re always out here. You just have to play around them,” one visitor tells the local FOX News station, KDVR.
While typically not associated with human injuries or fatalities, elk are enormous mammals and can be extremely dangerous – even deadly. Unfortunately, one golfer has just found this out for himself. Thankfully, though, he lives to tell the tale.
Man gored by massive bull elk
Zak Bornhoft came to the course golfing with several friends Wednesday. One of the resident herds of elk was visiting a hole the golfers intended to play. But as soon as they got close in their golf cart – the unimaginable happened.
A massive bull elk came charging to their cart, knocking it sideways and stabbing Bornhoft through the stomach. The elk’s pointed antler came all the way through Zak’s body – slicing his left kidney in two.
Bornhoft’s wife, Megan, tells KDVR the doctors are shocked at her husband’s survival. If the antler had sliced through Zak “three inches either way [left or right] we wouldn’t be sitting here. [The Dr.] said it would have been better to have been stabbed with a knife because of the dirt on the elk antlers,” Megan continues.
Meanwhile, Zak is still recovering. He looks to be in good spirits, but the stab wound will have him down at least for a couple of weeks. KDVR has full coverage – including images – of Zak and his grave injuries.
Bull elk vs golfers: “Too many close calls on the course”
Zak may be one of the worst cases from Evergreen, but regulars say they’ve seen too many close calls on the course. One such regular, Andi Poland, is a wildlife photographer. Andi says she’s captured “one close call after another”.
“I think the elk are very predictable at that course,” the photographer states – having photographed many elk at Evergreen. “In my opinion I think they should shut down those holes they’re at regularly.”
Denver Parks and Recreation, however, doesn’t agree. Such a bold shut-down isn’t on their agenda, but they do hope people learn to keep their distance from these wild animals. If anything, Zak Bornhoft’s near-death experience should serve as a stern warning to all who visit Evergreen.
Yes – the elk are beautiful – but do not approach them. Always give wildlife as much room as you possibly can, and never assume they are “tame” or “friendly”. This is especially true this time of year. In fall, elk are in rut – their mating season – and bull elk become extremely aggressive.