By Mark Heinz, Outdoors Reporter
A Colorado driver foolish enough to taunt an elk in the road, daring it to attack his vehicle, got just what he asked for.
In a video that’s gaining traction on social media, the man pulls up to the elk in the road and can be heard egging it on with, “You wanna go, bud?”
The answer was “yes,” as the bull elk lowered his head and rammed one of his massive antler tines into the driver’s side front tire, resulting in a satisfying hiss of rapidly escaping air.
Not Creatures To Mess With
The video still had its original embedded title, stating the bull popped the tire with its “horns.” That indicates the original poster wasn’t knowledgeable about bull elk, which have seasonal antlers, not permanent horns.
And the driver in the video was apparently ignorant of the fact that despite being herbivores, elk can at times be anything but docile.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation notes that cows protecting their young, or bulls hyped up for the rut (mating season) can be aggressive.
In two separate incidents in June 2018, cow elk thoroughly pummeled tourists who had gotten too close to their calves, RMEF reported. People also are sometimes gravely injured during vehicle collisions with elk. RMEF didn’t find any record of death by elk.
Bull Wasn’t Messing Around
In the video, the bull first appears standing belligerently in the middle of a highway as the driver slowly approaches. Given the elk’s aggressive posture and hoof-stomping, it’s likely that the bull was rutting.
Nevertheless, the driver was foolish enough to roll down his window, pull abreast of the agitated beast and start taunting it.
And the bull obliged him by massacring his tire.
Rutting bulls can become blindly aggressive, game agents told Cowboy State Daily. Close-up video of two bulls sparing during the rut taken by hunters last fall made for great footage.
But it probably wasn’t safe being that close to the battling bulls, Wyoming Game and Fish Department Deputy Chief of Wildlife Craig Smith said.