Elk 1, photographer 0



A man in October found out what a curious elk can do with his antlers.

Vince M. Camiolo was in the Cataloochee Valley of Great Smoky Mountains National Park when he noticed a fellow photographer’s encounter with the young bull and started to record a video, which was later posted on YouTube

No, the photographer, was not gored. But the elk keeps butting him with his head. At one point, the animal gets skittish and it seems as if he’s trying to engage him in a dangerous dance. Finally, a ranger — in a white vehicle, not on a white horse — comes to the rescue.

Camiolo contacted the photographer, who is not named, to find out what was going through his mind:

“My first thoughts were, “Wow, he’s getting pretty damn close here.” But I’ve been up close before without incident. I hoped being still and passive would see him pass on. When he lowered his antlers to me, I wanted to keep my vitals protected and my head down. I felt that standing up would provoke him more and leave me more vulnerable to goring. I think that while protecting myself with my head down, having my head down was a signal that I was rutting with him. I was concerned at first, but when he started rearing back and lunging at me later on, I got scared and pissed off. … I was relieved to see the Ranger coming. … I’ve joked with my friends that at least he took me for a buck and not a cow!”

You can watch the video on YouTube here.

h/t Daily Mail