Officials warn residents to stay away from elk after animal seen charging at crowd at a Colorado park

FILE – Harry Collins/iStock(ESTES PARK, Colo.) — Officials are warning Colorado residents to stay far away from elk while visiting parks after one was seen charging at a crowd of people and ramming into a woman.

A spokesman for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife told ABC News that the animals are currently in their breeding season and “will very aggressively defend their harems (also known as their family unit).”

“People need to maintain a safe distance from elk, even if they are at a building/facility/golf course or whatever human dwelling,” Jason Clay, the spokesman, said.

“Let the elk move away on their own, never ever get that close because something like this could happen,” Clay added.

A video circulated online on Friday of an elk rushing into at a crowd of people in Bond Park and repeatedly ramming his antlers into a woman, who then fell to the ground, and charging at a truck. The woman was uninjured, but a man who also dove out of the elk’s way and hit his head on a rock was taken to the hospital, according to Clay.

Clay called the incident “completely preventable.”

The warning comes just ahead of Elk Fest in Estes Park, where Bond Park is located. The festival, which includes elk exhibits and seminars, runs from Sept. 28 to Sept. 29.

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