A Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel employee was seriously injured after an encounter with a cow elk behind the hotel yesterday.
Charlene Triplett, age 51, from Las Vegas, Nevada, was attacked by a cow elk yesterday. According to Yellowstone National Park officials, the elk was protecting a calf bedded down roughly 20 feet away and hidden by other cars. It’s not known if Triplett saw the calf or the elk prior to the encounter.
The elk reportedly reared up and kicked Triplett multiple times with its front legs, hitting her head, torso, and back. Due to the severity of her injuries, she was flown to the trauma center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
At the time of the incident Triplett was off-duty. Rangers remained in the area to warn others about the elk and calf.
The incident should be a reminder to be careful in Yellowstone when it comes to wildlife, and to be extra careful around elk, especially during calving season: always remain at least 25 yards away from these animals. Though the elk in Mammoth appear to be placid, they’re not, and this incident should be a warning to keep your distance from them at all times.