A third cow elk attack in Estes Park is cause for heightened caution. Credit: CPW

ESTES PARK, Colorado – Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) released reports of an unprecedented third cow elk attack in Estes Park in just over a week, with the recent attack occurring the morning of Friday, June 7.

An adult woman was walking her dog on-leash near South St Vrain Avenue and Stanley Avenue when the elk charged at her from around 20 yards way. Despite attempting to get behind a tree for safety, the woman was knocked to the ground and stomped on multiple times.

The woman did seek medical assistance after the attack, and the cow’s calf was later spotted in the area.

Cow elk with young calves are known to be aggressive, however we’ve never seen a year like this. All three attacks have been unprovoked and unfortunate accidents. We have no clear evidence to suggest these attacks were from the same animal, which underscores how uncommon the elk behavior has been.

Prior to this attack, a 4-year-old boy was attacked on June 3 and an 8-year-old girl was attacked on Thursday, May 3.

CPW is urging residents and visitors of Estes Park to stay extra cautious outdoors through the rest of the calving season. Any perceived threats to calves could cause cow elk to charge and chase. Pets should be kept on leash at all times and people should be sure to give the animals a wide birth of space. Calving season runs from late spring through early summer.

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