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'Just give the wildlife their space': Aggressive elk spotted in Evergreen

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, moose, elk and deer can become aggressive when defending their young this time of year.

EVERGREEN, Colo. — Cindy Hillegass walked towards the patch of grass in front of her Evergreen hair salon and picked up a yellow laminated flyer.

"Oh, there it is," the business owner said as she found the thumbtack attached to it. "So I made this sign to keep people away." 

It wasn't her hair salon she wanted to deter people from but rather the visitor that had taken up space underneath the deck of her business.

"We try to tell our clients, every year we have this mother elk that comes here and has her babies so if you see her, give her a distance," Hillegass said.

But unfortunately, not everyone listened. On Memorial Day weekend, Hillegass watched for eight hours as visitors came into town and tried to snap a quick picture of the elk and her kin.

"We were trying to warn people, you know she just had a baby she’s very aggressive she’s territorial," Hillegass said. "You know they didn’t believe it. Then of course she starts chasing them."

In a cellphone video Hillegass shared with 9NEWS, the elk walks toward a family as they ran up the stairs. The aggressive demeanor is one she said they see every year shortly after the cow elk gives birth. 

Credit: Cindy Hillegass

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) it's not surprising. The agency issued a warning on Friday after two recent elk and moose attacks.

According to CPW, moose, elk and deer can become aggressive when defending their young this time of year. 

Officials said the two attacks in the past week, in Evergreen and Steamboat Springs, were not believed to be sparked by irresponsible behavior. The people involved did have minor injuries. 

In an email to 9NEWS, a spokesperson for CPW said there was not much they could do -- they won't relocate the animals. 

They recommended people keep their distance from elk with their calves, especially during this time of year. 

"We have so much wildlife it’s just beautiful and you never get tired of it," Hillegass said. "Just give the wildlife their space."

RELATED: 2 attacks in recent days prompt wildlife officials to warn about elk, moose

RELATED: 5 skunks test positive for rabies in Weld County



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