An elk suddenly charged visitors in Colorado Estes Park this week and jabbed at a woman with its antlers.
Conservation officials attributed the attack Thursday to mating season when male elks can become unpredictable and violent.
As the elk charged, a man backed up so quickly that he tumbled over a rock. The elk then repeatedly butted a woman who had been thrown to the ground in the charge. The attack was captured on video at the park 70 miles north of Denver.
The confrontation was interrupted when a park worker drove his pickup truck between the animal and the woman. The elk then attacked the vehicle.
“That bull was very aggressive,” Estes Park worker Brian Berg told CBS-4 TV.
The woman “miraculously came out unharmed,” Jason Clay, a spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, told NBC News. “She had some scrapes,” but was not transported to a hospital and did not require medical attention, he added.
The man who fell was being treated at a local hospital Thursday for an abrasion.
Clay said the visitors were too close to the elk, particularly during mating season. He speculated that there may have been another bull nearby, which triggered the attack. Full-grown elk can weigh up to 1,100 pounds.