‘Don’t get too close to wildlife!’: Photos show woman propping up child near bull elk

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ESTES PARK, Colo. (KDVR) — Colorado wildlife officials have an urgent warning for tourists after new images surfaced showing a woman propping up a child near a bull elk in Estes Park: Don’t get too close to wildlife!

“Every year there’s a case,” said Jason Clay, a spokesperson for Colorado Parks & Wildlife.

Standing anyone up, let alone a child, is a big “no, no” according to wildlife officials.

This time of year is rutting season, which is breeding season.

“I don’t think a lot of people realize just how powerful and fast these animals really are. And if they wanted to they could get right up on you in a heartbeat before you could get out of the way,” Clay said.

Unfortunately, the community of Estes Park deals with these sorts of situations regularly.

“These animals can get very agitated if you invade their personal space and they can charge at you,” Clay said.

The word of warning from officials: always keep a good distance from Colorado’s wildlife.

Here are some helpful tips:

“You can either put your thumb up and if you can cover that animal’s whole body, then generally you’re a safe distance. If you put your hand up and look at the elk through a little circle in your hand and you can see that elk – generally you’re a safe distance,” Clay explained.

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