Headed to Elk Fest? Be aware of very aggressive elk

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ESTES PARK– Elk Fest will be held at Bond Park in downtown Estes Park this weekend.

Wildlife officials are issuing a stern warning after a bull elk was caught on camera charging at a crowd and damaging a pickup truck in Estes Park Thursday morning.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife advises people to keep their distance from elk. The rut occurs during the fall, and bucks and bulls may “attack without provocation.” CPW suggests using binoculars or telephoto lenses to get an up-close look at elk.

CPW spokesman Jason Clay said the people in the videos were far too close to the animal.

“We are in the rut (breeding season) and bull elk will very aggressively defend their harems. Bull elk will fight over breeding rights. People need to maintain a safe distance from elk, even if they are at a building/facility/golf course or whatever human dwelling. Let the elk move away on their own, never ever get that close because something like this could happen,” Clay said in an email.

Elk Fest is a free event that starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning with a Rut Run 5k.

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