A Nevada woman was attacked by a cow elk behind the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel in Yellowstone National Park Sunday. She was flown to the trauma center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center due to the severity of her injuries.
According to a press release from the park’s Public Affairs Office, the elk reared up and kicked 51-year-old Charlene Triplett, an employee at the hotel, multiple times with its front legs, hitting her head, torso and back.
The elk was protecting a calf bedded down about 20 feet away, hidden by other cars.
Triplett was off-duty at the time of the incident. It is not known if she saw the calf or the elk prior to the encounter.
No citation was issued. Rangers stayed in the area to warn others of the elk and calf.
The park reminds people to use caution around elk, especially during calving season. Visitors should remain at least 25 yards away from elk.