A female photographer was caught on camera getting too close to a large elk at Yellowstone National Park this past weekend. To the woman’s surprise, the elk suddenly decided to charge at her.
The incident was captured in the 40-second video above by a tourist named Manny Perez, who was with tour guide Jody Tibbitts of Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris. Perez started filming the scene with his camera when the group noticed the woman and when Tibbitts began warning her to back off.
“She was practically stomping up to it,” Tibbitts tells East Idaho News. “Honestly I’d say she was probably 25 feet away from the elk as opposed to the 25 yards (mandated by Yellowstone National Park).”
The woman was lucky: the female elk, which can weigh up to 500 pounds, didn’t decide to trample her once she was down. As she walked away, the woman can be heard on camera saying: “It’s been a long time since I’ve been out here. Thank you. It won’t happen again.”
The video has racked up over a million views since Tibbitts shared it on his Facebook page:
Back in 2013, an elk in Great Smoky Mountains National Park was caught on camera walking up to a photographer and engaging him in a head-butting battle. That elk was later put down by the National Park because it “could not be re-trained to be fearful of humans.”