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Woman attacked by elk in Yellowstone

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Cow elk. | Stock photo

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — Charlene Triplett, 51, of Las Vegas, was attacked by a cow elk behind the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel on Sunday, according to a news release from Yellowstone National Park.

The elk was protecting a calf bedded down roughly 20 feet away and hidden by other cars. It’s not known if Triplett saw the calf or the elk prior to the encounter.

The elk reportedly reared up and kicked Triplett multiple times with its front legs, hitting her head, torso, and back, according to the news release.

Due to the severity of her injuries Triplett was flown to the trauma center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

Triplett is an employee at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. At the time of the incident, she was off duty.

Rangers remained in the area to warn others about the elk and calf. No citation was issued.

Use caution around elk, especially during calving season: always remain at least 25 yards (23 meters) away from these animals, park staff urge.

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