Many people think that mating season for elk is one of the most dangerous times of the year in Colorado. We have all seen videos of bull elk charging tourists near Rocky Mountain National Park in the fall during the rut. What many do not realize is that elk can and will pose a threat to humans year-round.

Calving Season is Dangerous in Colorado

Colorado elk are in calving season, from late spring to early summer. Cow elk will be overly protective of their offspring, meaning they can and will charge humans and pets. On Thursday, May 30, an 8-year-old girl riding her bicycle in Estes Park, Colorado, was attacked by a cow elk.


According to KDVR, the cow elk charged the child on the bicycle from approximately 60 yards away. When the elk approached the child,  she was stomped numerous times. Thankfully, the child was taken to the hospital where she was treated and released later that day.

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A Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer returned to the area where the attack occurred and hazed the elk with a non-lethal bean bag when she again became aggressive. The tactic was used to help dissipate the behavior. Signs have been placed around the the area of the elk attack on the child warning residents and tourists alike that aggressive elk are in close proximity and to be cautious of nearby wildlife.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife say to leave young wildlife alone even if they appear to be alone as a young elk's mother could be gone in search of food. People should also keep pets on leashes at all times to avoid conflict with elk in the area during calving season.

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