Kid Runs From Charging Elk, Nearly Gets Hit by Moving Car: VIDEO

by Shelby Scott

Most Outsiders know to keep their distance from wild elk herds (not to mention all wildlife in general) as the impressive creatures have the capability to seriously injure, or even kill, human beings. That said, others just wholly lack common sense, or have not yet had it instilled in them, because a new viral clip shows a child trying to approach what appears to be a female elk and a calf before mama lunges at him and sends him running—right into the way of oncoming traffic. Here’s what not to do if you see an elk herd up close:

The clip shows three children standing just a few yards away from a small herd of elk which includes two mature adults and a calf. At first, the elk and the boy share a stare-off. But, suddenly, mama elk launches into a charge at the nearest child and sends him running right into the road. Fortunately, traffic isn’t moving too quickly otherwise the elk encounter could have gone much worse.

Addiitionally, the female elk stopped her charge short, instead only spooking the group with the action rather than actively pursuing them. Still, it was probably smart the provocative child chose to run, otherwise mama elk may not have been so kind a second time.

Bull Elk In America’s National Parks Confrontational Amid Annual Rut

It’s never a great idea to approach wildlife on any occasion. However, Outsiders should be mindful about keeping their distance from our nation’s elk, especially at this time of the year.

Beginning as early as August and lasting through October, male elk in various U.S. national parks enter their annual rut, or mating, season. During those eight weeks or so, the species’ bulls become especially agitated as their hormones rage, battling each other out for mating rates.

Already, multiple videos have surfaced this year that show some especially confrontational male elk charging passing tourists and vehicles alike—provoked or not. In order to get ahead of any potential catastrophes, Yellowstone National Park has shared some of its most useful tips about viewing its wild residents while also maintaining tourists’ safety.

In a recent post, the national park emphasized the importance of keeping your distance. Yellowstone National Park visitors are instructed to keep a minimum of at least two bus lengths (or 75 yards) away from resident elk. Bulls in rut are completely unpredictable and can charge without warning.

Instead, to get a better view of the mighty antler-bedecked creatures, park officials encourage visitors to utilize zoom on their phones and cameras to the max.

Finally, if you find yourself in a confrontation with a rutting elk, officials encourage you to seek shelter in your car or in/behind a “sturdy” nearby structure. Even just a mature tree works well in this situation. If nothing else, just run as fast as you can. Elk, unlike predators including bears and wolves, typically won’t pursue you if you choose to leave their territory.