Elk attacks woman trying to take selfie in Missouri

By Ben Hooper  |  Oct. 11, 2017 at 10:39 AM
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Oct. 11 (UPI) -- An attempt to snap a selfie with an elk in a Missouri park ended with a woman being attacked by the animal in a caught-on-camera incident.

Photographer Kent Burgess said he was taking photos of the animals from a safe distance Sunday at Lone Elk Park in St. Louis County when he spotted a group of less-cautious humans getting a bit too close to some of the elk.

"I noticed four people on the hill getting close to the elk. And they were taking a selfie," Burgess told KSDK-TV.

Burgess said he tried to shout a warning to the people, but they apparently didn't hear him.

"It charged them and put its head down and was shaking its rack right at one female. She was injured in the arm and had some blood on her face," Burgess said.

Burgess said he gave the group a ride to their car, which was parked about a half mile away.

County officials said the woman wasn't seriously injured. They said another woman had been gored in the back by an elk at the park a few weeks earlier, but her injuries were also described as minor.

"I was so upset," Burgess told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I just want people to know what can happen when you get so close."

Tom Ott, assistant director of the St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation, said additional signs have been posted at the park warning visitors that elk are especially aggressive during the current mating season.

"Some people unfortunately think elk are this gentle, tame animal, but that's just not true," Ott said. "They are wild animals. These people who are walking up to them are asking for trouble."

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