‘Thank you for saying something’

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Nature can be fickle. Even the fears of the most skeptical and anxious travelers can be deemed warranted when exploring and appreciating the great outdoors, such as being attacked by a bear or getting caught in an avalanche. Being attacked by an elk, however, is not often found on that list.

While taking in the beauty of Estes Park, Colorado, TikTok user Monosyth took it upon themselves to warn photographers who got up close with elk grazing on the side of a road. In the video, Monosyth said the elk “will charge you in a second” and advised the photographers to be extremely careful when interacting with the animals.

@monosyth 🦌 #colorado #rockymountainnationalpark #estespark #fypシ #foryourpage ♬ original sound – Monosyth

Monosyth’s precaution was definitely warranted. According to a study by the Penticton Herald, there were 3,724 animal attacks in Alberta from 2011 to 2021 — and 2,229 were by elk. 

These attacks are not confined to Canada. In fall 2022, a bull elk charged a photographer in Estes Park. A similar thing happened a year earlier, once again in Estes Park. 

Despite this seemingly concrete evidence, Monosyth did receive some criticism in the comment section. One TikTok user said: “Ok Karen. Thanks for your advice. You care so much.” Another wrote, “Yeah let’s startle them by talking loudly.”

But there was also a lot of support. “Not Karen behavior,” someone said. “Leave the animals alone.” Another user stated: “Thank you for saying something to them! This could be fatal.” 

All opinions aside, the fact is that elk can be very dangerous, especially if provoked. In the face of potential dangers posed by wildlife, it’s imperative that our interactions are informed and respectful, for the safety of both humans and animals in places such as Estes Park and beyond.

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