The headlines tell a story that is dangerous and could be deadly. Cow elk can go to great lengths to protect their calves.
It happened two times over three days in Yellowstone National Park. On June 3, an employee at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel came across a cow elk behind the hotel. It reared up and kicked her in the head, torso and back. The severity of the injuries led to her being flown to a trauma center in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Two days later, another encounter happened in about the same location. This time a woman walking between cabins came upon a bedded cow elk. She tried to walk away but the elk chased her down and hit her in the legs and torso. An ambulance transported her to a hospital in Montana.
It is not known if the same elk was involved in both incidents.
Rangers did not issue a citation in either instance but continue to warn people to be vigilant and to give elk and other wild animals plenty of distance.
(Photo source: National Park Service)