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Yellowstone National Park issues warning: Elk with calves are extremely dangerous


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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — Elk calving has begun in Yellowstone National Park and officials are reminding everyone to use caution.

Cow elk are much more aggressive toward people during the calving season and may charge or kick. Last summer, two women were hospitalized after being attacked by elk near the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel.

In the first incident, the elk reared up and kicked the woman multiple times with its front legs, hitting her head, torso and back. She had been walking in the area while the animal was protecting a calf bedded down roughly 20 feet away. The woman was flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

The next day, a Texas woman was walking between two cabins when she was surprised by the elk bedded along the cabin wall with a calf nearby. She attempted to back away but the animal followed and struck her in the head and torso with its legs. The woman was taken by ambulance to Livingston Memorial Hospital.

Officials remind everyone to stay alert, look around corners before exiting buildings or walking around blind spots and keep at least 25 yards from elk at all times.

If an elk charges you, find shelter in your vehicle or behind a tall, sturdy barrier as quickly as possible.