VIDEO – Elk Spars with Photographer in the Smoky Mountains
This video of a young bull elk “sparring” with a photographer was captured in November 2013 in the Cataloochee Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The photographer was snapping photos along the roadside when this elk took an interest in him and approached him. Elk can charge at a rate of 45mph and can be lethal, so the photographer hunkered down hoping the bull elk would lose interest. What happened next turned from “playful sparring” and escalated from there. Check out the video below to see what happened!
Photos of the Elk by the Photographer
The photographer was James York from North Carolina and his full photography portfolio can be found on the Fine Art America website. He managed to capture the following unbelievable images during the encounter with the elk and posted them on the FineArtAmerica.com!
Fortunately nobody was hurt in this instance of Elk vs Photographer as this was a potentially very dangerous situation. During the fall, bull elk begin their rut and become more aggressive. It is not suggested at all to approach them as they are looking to show dominance over just about anything that moves.
This also goes for deer…especially in Cades Cove. We see numerous visitors attempting to approach deer for pictures or to just see how close they can get. Please know this can be extremely dangerous as these animals are unpredictable and very protective…of themselves…of their young…and their mates.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park spokesperson Dana Soehn provided the following advice:
“In that situation, we recommend to people is that they would slowly stand up, back away, and create that safe space and distance from themselves and the animal.” Dana Soehn – Great Smoky Mountains National Park spokesperson
UPDATE – Elk Euthanized on Friday November 15, 2013
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials confirmed Friday to WBIR TV out of Knoxville that the elk had shown more aggressive tendencies toward humans and the decision was made to euthanize the elk as it “could not be re-trained to be fearful of humans” and “the elk had been coming back to that area in search of food, and had begun associating humans with food.” This is the first elk that has been euthanized in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park since the first 25 elk were reintroduced to the park in 2001.
What Would You Do?
We want to know…what would you do if an elk approached you? Let us know in the comments section below!