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Close Encounters of the Elk Kind: VIDEO


A photographer in the Cataloochee Valley of Great Smoky Mountains National Park tries to remain calm after he is challenged by a curious young bull elk, but eventually ends up extracting himself from the situation.


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  1. Trade is all the same. Whether human or in the animal kingdom. They're always "fronting" and trying to prove how tough they are--even when they're bottoms. Trade is all the same.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 14, 2013 11:02:26 AM

  2. Could he have just tried to retreat slowly? The elk might have taken it for a sign of cowardice.

    Posted by: Jack M | Nov 14, 2013 11:25:09 AM

  3. Elk in the Smoky Mountains? Nice. I knew there was a herd in Bennezette PA but thought that was the only one in the eastern US.

    Posted by: Jersey | Nov 14, 2013 11:40:44 AM

  4. I guess we can safely say that the photographer is a successful, recovering elkaholic.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Nov 14, 2013 12:16:09 PM

  5. If he's trying to make it lose interest, why is he antagonizing and fighting it?

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Nov 14, 2013 12:30:02 PM

  6. @oncemorewithfeeling I don't believe he was antagonizing it, but was attempting to be submissive (head down, keeping his eyes covered), while not turning and fleeing, which may have been a signal for the bull to charge. Also, I am sure the photographer in him wanted a great shot and to rescue several thousand dollars worth od equipment.

    Posted by: Chris | Nov 14, 2013 1:06:15 PM

  7. Wow. There's something to show the grandkids.

    Posted by: Buster | Nov 14, 2013 1:46:07 PM

  8. I think head-down is probably a sign you're willing to spar. A good time to where a full face helmet.

    Posted by: anon | Nov 14, 2013 2:01:24 PM

  9. Elk can be VERY rough when sparring with each other... this one looked like he was playing. He was probably more afraid than the dude he was poking.

    Posted by: sparks | Nov 14, 2013 4:23:01 PM

  10. ....and it's gone.

    Posted by: Randy | Nov 14, 2013 4:57:51 PM

  11. ....and it's gone.

    Posted by: Randy | Nov 14, 2013 4:57:51 PM

  12. ....and it's gone.

    Posted by: Randy | Nov 14, 2013 4:57:51 PM

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