Yellowstone National Park officials are warning park visitors that elk calving has begun, and elk with calves can be extremely dangerous.
According to a notice put out Thursday by the park, cow elk are much more aggressive towards people during the calving season and may charge or kick. With that in mind, park rangers urge visitors and concession employees to stay alert: look around corners before exiting buildings or walking around blind spots: cow elk may bed their calves near buildings and cars. Park officials say that no matter how docile elk appear, it is important to give them a wide berth of at least 25 yards. If an elk does charge you, find shelter in your vehicle or behind a tall, sturdy barrier as quickly as possible.
Last May, a woman visiting the West Thumb area was charged by a cow elk and left sprawled on the ground. Fortunately, she was not seriously hurt. Two other people were charged and struck by cow elk in June. Both were injured – once severely.