Yellowstone Releases Battling Elk Video To Warn Tourists About The Rut

Yellowstone National Park on Friday released a video of battling elk to warn tourists to stay away especially during the rut.

Annaliese Wiederspahn

August 28, 20202 min read

Battling elk
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

It’s like Yellowstone National Park created its own version of the “Blair Witch Project.”

The spooky black and white video the National Park Service released on Friday comes complete with eerie sounds, a shaky camera and plenty of violence.

But there aren’t any people in this video they call “Bull Fight.” Instead, snorting elk are the main subjects. And the topic: The rut.

The video contains nighttime footage of bucks battling it out to impress the female subjects of their affection.

And the last thing these horned-up elk want to deal with are people. That’s the point the Park Service is trying to get across.

The agency’s accompanying cautionary tweet is powerful on its own, but officials should have considered hiring James Earl Jones to voice it:

“WARNING: The elk rut has begun in Yellowstone National Park. Bull elk can be extremely dangerous during this time,” the agency’s tweet read.

The best line was saved for last:  “You are responsible for your own safety.”

Again, they really needed James Earl Jones here.

No doubt some tourists will disregard the warnings and end up on the wrong side of an elk’s antlers, but at least the park tried.

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Annaliese Wiederspahn

State Political Reporter