Elk Charges Photographer at Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park has very clear rules about how close humans can get to animals: 100 yards from bears and wolves and 25 yards from all other large animals. One photographer disobeyed those rules and quickly learned a scary lesson.

Any good wildlife photographer will quickly tell of the importance of respecting wild animals. Yellowstone National Park does its best to convey this to its visitors, many of whom are amateur photographers and tourists who are less versed in interactions with wildlife. I personally remember being sternly admonished upon entering the park to keep a safe distance. Nonetheless, there are always those who ignore the rules in pursuit of a shot, often placing themselves in dangerous situations. 

Tour Guide Jody Tibbitts recently happened upon just such a situation, in which a photographer was "practically stomping up to [an elk]." Manny Perez, a man in the tour group, began to film the scene. Just as Tibbitts tried to warn the photographer, the elk charged; luckily, the woman tripped and fell after taking several steps backward, and the elk relented. Nevertheless, it's a stark reminder of the power and unpredictable nature of wild animals and the need for humans to respect them. 


Lead image courtesy of Yellowstone National Park, public domain. 

[via East Idaho News]

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Anonymous's picture

You can't protect stupid people from themselves. The gene pool could use some chlorine...

Kevin Wyllie's picture

Not so much a 'pool' - more like a puddle ;) What an idiot!

barry munsterteiger's picture

"photographer" isn't the appropriate description here, "tourist taking a photo" would be better.

Anonymous's picture

I agree, the term is used too loosely. If I pop a zit I'm not suddenly a dermatologist.

David Moore's picture

You could turn this into an ad for lens rentals. "don't let this happen to you, rent a telephoto lens for your trip!"

Alex Cooke's picture

That made me laugh out loud! Well done, sir.


"...oh oh ooohh... I can't turn my phone fast enough to catch the dummy getting knocked out!"... that was pretty darn hilarious and frustrating to watch at the same time.

Prefers Film's picture

An actual photographer would have brought a long lens, and respected the animals by giving them plenty of room. This was a tourist.

David Sanden's picture

It's obvious that she came in contact with the Bouncer. Either that or Elk HATE getting their picture taken.

stir photos's picture

Maybe she's related to the woman whose kid found his way into the gorilla habitat...

Kyle Medina's picture

So lucky that it was not a Bull Elk. As shown from the lead image. They have a freaking tree growing out of their head. Being I live in Colorado and have the easy access to Rocky Mountain National Park and these behemoth animals. I always share this image to showcase size comparison. (I am from Ohio).

g coll's picture

I'm astounded how the person capturing this on his phone managed to miss the actual collision!

Marc J Wrzesinski's picture

meanwhile, video shot in portrait and not landscape *sigh*

Fritz Asuro's picture

Just wait till all monitors and television are sold on portrait orientation.

Woody Huband's picture

Don't hate. Maybe he watches his home television turned on its side :-)