Tis the season for cow elk to deliver and protect their babies so wildlife biologists are asking people to keep their distance.
A female elk, believed to be protecting a newborn calf, recently knocked down a hiker on a trail in Canmore, a small town about 50 miles west of Calgary, Alberta, next to Banff National Park. Officials say this is one of a number of similar incidents.
“We’ve had a few cases where people have had to lift their bikes and wave it in the elk’s face,” Jay Honeyman, Alberta Environment and Parks human-wildlife conflict specialist, told Rocky Mountain Outlook. “These elk are getting quite close to folks and it’s concerning.”
Elk are an extremely common sight within the city limits of Canmore and that causes unique problems.
“There was a calf that was actually dropped on somebody’s driveway right in front of their garage. We scooped the calf, dropped her in the woods and the mom reunited with her, but we don’t want the public doing that because it is very dangerous for both elk and people,” added Honeyman.
Calves are usually born between late May and early June. Go here to learn more about elk biology.
(Photo source: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)