Colorado Parks and Wildlife warns of agressive elk in the Estes Park area. Credit: CPW NE Region

ESTES PARK, Colorado – A 4-year-old boy was attacked by an aggressive cow elk in Estes Park on Monday, June 3. As this is the second such attack on a child in less than a week, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is urging residents and visitors of the area to stay aware.

The 4-year-old was reportedly playing in a playground near Stanley Park in the early afternoon where, unbeknownst to those using the playground, two elk calves were hidden nearby.

Suddenly a cow elk charged the boy and stomped on him multiple times, leaving only once a family member scared it away. The boy was transported to the hospital and treated before being released that evening.

CPW found multiple cow elk in the area upon their arrival, using non-lethal bean bag rounds to haze and scare the animals out and away from the park. The elk did move along, but the playground and parts of the Lake Estes Loop trail were closed indefintely.

While newborn calves are immobile, cow elk can become aggressive towards perceived threats. People are encouraged to be aware while recreating outdoors that calves could be hidden nearby. Cow elk can charge from many yards away. Please respect trail closures and signs warning of aggressive elk. Never disturb young wildlife, even if they appear to be alone, as the mother is most likely nearby searching for food.

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