Elk NetworkColorado Town Hit by Trio of Elk Attacks, Plus a Deer Attack in Another Area

General | July 1, 2024

Seeing elk in and around Estes Park, Colorado, is nothing new. Elk attacks are rare, but they do happen. However, elk attacked three different people over an eight-day period.

The first incident happened on May 30, 2024, when a cow elk charged and then stomped an eight-year-old girl riding her bicycle. She received treatment at a hospital before being released.

Four days later, a cow elk attacked a four-year-old boy playing in a park. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), there were two elk calves nearby hidden in a rock area. Like the girl, the boy received medical attention at a hospital before going home.

Later that same week, a cow elk attacked a woman walking her dog. She tried to run behind a tree for safety, but the elk knocked her to the ground, kicking her several times.

“Cow elk with young calves are known to be aggressive, however we’ve never seen a year like this,” said Jason Duetsch, CPW area wildlife manager. “All three attacks have been unprovoked and unfortunate accidents. We have no clear evidence to suggest these attacks were from the same animal, which underscores how uncommon the elk behavior has been.”

Later the same day as the third elk incident, more than 100 miles away near Colorado Springs, a female deer attacked a family’s dogs in their fenced backyard and charged a pregnant woman trying to scare it away. The woman’s father first shot the deer with rubber buckshot provided by CPW in the past to deter bears in the area. After that did not work, he shot and killed it with a bullet. Colorado law allows the public to use lethal measures to protect human health and safety from wildlife. CPW says most of the aggressive behavior is related to dogs since the deer and elk view dogs as a threat to their young.

(Photo source: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)