ESTES PARK, Colo. -- There was a close call in Estes Park on Sunday afternoon after an elk gored a tourist.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said the man has been released from the hospital. Witnesses told FOX31 Denver he was standing in the middle of an elk herd trying to take photos.
“We see tourists try to get as close to those elk every time,” Estes Park resident Brian Bowden said.
Bowden and his family were stopped at an intersection on Highway 34 when they saw a bull elk confront the man then attacked him.
“He kind of lunged forward toward the guy. The guy should have backed up to the street at that point, but the guy stood his ground and the bull turned right back around and put him to the ground and tossed him around a little bit,” Bowden said.
Bowden’s wife, Marci, snapped photos of the man before the incident. They said he was pinned down for less than 5 seconds.
“He gave me a thumbs up and then I saw him turn around and I saw his back and as soon as he moved his hand, we saw blood coming out through his shirt,” Bowden said.
Male elk are more aggressive this time of year because it is their mating season.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife said the Estes Park Police Department is investigating the incident to determine if the man will face animal harassment charges.