In Estes Park, one woman had an encounter with an elk protecting her baby.

Jim Ward captured this photo of an elk and the woman in a standoff Monday:

<p>Courtesy: Jim Ward</p>

Ward says the standoff lasted about 20 minutes before the elk walked off and stood on a nearby guardrail in front of her calf. The woman was not hurt.

Courtesy: Jim Ward
Courtesy: Jim Ward

Ward's friend Kris Hazelton, who is the co-founder of Estes Park News, has had her fair share of encounters after living in Estes Park for 18 years. She stressed the importance of being alert and looking ahead."Sometimes the babies are hunkered down in the grass and you can't see them and you just happen to wander by a baby by itself and you don't even know," Hazelton says. "You happen to walk next that calf and all of a sudden the mom is right on your back ready to defend her calf."Hazelton says she and her husband walk every day and they take an air horn with them to try and scare off any elk that come their way. Other times, they've had to run."There was one cow that we saw one time that just kept chasing us, no matter what," Hazelton says. "It was really scary because my husband runs faster than I do so I was behind him and she was running really fast after us, and she just kept chasing us until finally, she gave up."Elk calving season usually goes until the end of June.