Elk are currently in rut across North America. In short, it’s the time of year when the large males herd together a harem of females for mating.
The rut is an incredible time to view elk from afar, but it’s downright dangerous if you get too close. The male’s brains are practically scrambled due to the dramatic increase in hormones.
This causes them to be extremely aggressive towards humans, and they’re known to charge passing vehicles to protect their herd.
The video below shows a distressed bull trying to make way for his harem to cross a road in Jasper National Park, Canada.
Watch as he charges cars, bugles loudly, and stomps around in an effort to display his dominance.
Jasper National Park advises all guests to view roadside animals from inside their vehicles. Essentially, don’t be like the people you just watched in the video above.
Here are guidelines for viewing animals in Jasper National Park from Jasper, Canada’s Travel Blog:
“To keep yourself (and the animal) safe, stay 30 metres (3 bus lengths) away from elk and other similar species and 100 metres (10 bus lengths) away from bears and other large predators. Stay on designated trails, as unofficial trails are often used by wildlife.
Do not feed wildlife
Giving wild animals food, either directly or by leaving edible items outside and unattended (meaning: keep your campsite clean and coolers in the car), is unlawful in a national park. When wildlife eat human food it can cause a variety of unfortunate effects, ranging from addiction to dangerous boldness to nutrient issues.
Stay in your vehicle when viewing wildlife from the road
When driving through Jasper National Park, it’s not uncommon to spy sheep, elk and other grazers along the side of the road. To watch them, pull over to the shoulder and stay in your vehicle. Use a telephoto lens to get that ‘perfect’ picture and quickly continue on your way.”