MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS - Yellowstone National Park officials issued a warning to visitors on Wednesday to be especially wary during the elk mating season.
Bull elk can be unpredictable and dangerous during this time, which is also known as the rut, park officials said. People visiting the park should stay alert as elk can run quickly and change direction without warning.
Park officials said people have been severely injured by elk in the past. Visitors should always maintain a distance of at least two bus lengths, or 25 yards, from any elk.
"Give them room, use your zoom," the press release states. "Never approach or pursue animals to take their picture. Zoom lenses with focal lengths up to 300 or 400mm offer a great combination of portability and reach."
If an elk charges you:
- Follow directions from park rangers.
- You are responsible for your own safety [nps.gov].
- Quickly find shelter in your vehicle or behind a tall, sturdy barrier.
- Run away if nearby shelter is not available.