Yellowstone Employee Seriously Injured By Cow Elk

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Cow elk at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Katie Glennemeier.

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — Charlene Triplett, age 51, from Las Vegas, Nevada, was attacked by a cow elk behind the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel on Sunday, June 3.

The National Park Service issued a press release saying the elk was protecting a calf bedded down roughly 20 feet away and hidden by other cars. It’s not known if Ms. Triplett saw the calf or the elk prior to the encounter.

The elk reportedly reared up and kicked Ms. Triplett multiple times with its front legs, hitting her head, torso, and back.

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Due to the severity of her injuries, Ms. Triplett was flown to the trauma center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

At the time of the incident Ms. Triplett was off-duty. She is an employee at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel.

Rangers remained in the area to warn others about the elk and calf. No citation was issued.

Use caution around elk, especially during calving season: always remain at least 25 yards (23 meters) away from these animals.