What had been a pleasant picnic for one Arizona family quickly took a turn for the worse when a herd of elk arrived.
An elk herd in Arizona’s Hualapai Mountain Park may have forgotten that they were elk, not bears, when they crashed a family picnic for food and ended up attacking two visitors last week. According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department (GFD), the attack was unprovoked and likely caused by the elk becoming too familiar with humans.
“They were not feeding the animals, but this encounter was clearly the result of past behaviors of the public.” said agency spokesperson Zen Mocarski in a press release.
Officials said that the elk encircled a family around a picnic table seeking food, even going as far as kicking the visitors with their hooves, injuring a young girl and boy. The family managed to escape the encounter with little more than bloody noses and other minor injuries.
“The family tried to keep the table between themselves and the elk, but the elk continued to move around the family,” said Brandon Oktay, park superintendent. “The park is a place to visit and enjoy, and I’m disappointed this family had to experience something like this. Those children were frightened, but the parents declined medical assistance and the injuries appear to be minor, which is the good news.”