A Canadian photographer filmed a startling interaction between a bull elk and a mid-sized sedan recently near Alberta’s Jasper National Park. In the video—posted to Instagram on September 19 by John Krampl—a driver tries to swerve before a visibly agitated elk on the highway lowers its head and heaves toward the car with a massive set of antlers. Watch it below.
“The rut is on and this Bull Elk is horny and angry,” the caption reads. “Don’t sit there, drive away fast and loud. This poor guy couldn’t because of all the traffic.” While the driver’s lane appeared free of traffic, the car couldn’t speed away fast enough to avoid contact with the elk, and the bull thrashed its horns against the passenger side door.
It’s not clear how much damage was done to the car during the elk’s outburst, but similar instances in the United States have left vehicles with flattened tires and severe body damage. Followers of Krampl’s Instagram page used the now-viral video as an opportunity to chastise the driver for getting too close, and to highlight other recent incidents in and around Jasper National Park.
“I live in Jasper and this video is going viral. Thank-you for posting it, people just don’t get that the animals in the Park are wild animals and they need space,” wrote one Instagram user. “We just got back from being there and it was insane how many people were pulling right up to the animals or even getting out of their cars to get close up pictures or selfies,” added another.
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As Krampl alluded to in his caption, elk herds are in the throes of the rut throughout much of North America at the moment. And, as his footage illustrates, they can be volatile, unpredictable, and downright dangerous this time of year. Unless you happen to be chasing one with a bow and arrow, it’s best to give these antlered forest cows an extremely wide berth at all times—even if you’re observing them from the “safety” of your car.
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