A few years back we were in the Mammoth area of Yellowstone for lunch when we happened upon this newly born elk just getting their footing under mom. According to the other onlookers this precious little one had just been born. It was quite touching to witness how nurturing and patient mama was as we all stood and watched.
Photographers (like me) frequently frame their subjects to suit their taste. This was no different. Even though Yellowstone is a beautiful National Park with tons of wide open wilderness, Mammoth is a congested area with lots of buildings for guests and employees. It is also a regular spot for elk to hang out.
Recently there have been two separate incidents involving mama elk attacking people in the park who have gotten to close to their babies. Both times it appears that the people didn't realize that they were encroaching on baby or mama. Neither seem to be people being stupid and wanting to take a selfie or anything like that and I hope all involved recovery quickly.
Before I started going to Yellowstone I had no idea that Elk were so big (mama cow is 500lbs), that they could run 35 - 45 mph, or that they can rear up and kick with their front legs. If you're planning a trip this summer enjoy yourself and these wild creatures and be safe!
Mama Elk Cow with newborn baby calf.
Yellowstone National Park, WY