WATCH: Elk Vs Photographer

"While photographing elk at sunrise in the Cataloochee Valley of Great Smoky Mountains National Park I turned around to see what appeared to be just a curious young bull sniffing a photographer's camera," writes YouTuber Vince M.Camiolo. "I snapped a few frames of the apparent harmless encounter. But the elk became more interested in making trouble than simply the scent of a camera... I quickly switched the camera to video and let it roll (much of the time wondering when I should seriously consider intervening)."

Camiolo says that he later wrote to the photographer in question about his close encounter of the deer kind, and he explained his actions thus:

"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... 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 p*ssed off. That's when I wagged my finger at him to cut that sh*t out. 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!"


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