Warnings posted in Gearhart community about aggressive elk

Elk will charge to defend calves in Gearhart

GEARHART, Ore. -- A city along the coast was living in fear of a female elk.

She was charging people, dogs, and even cars for days in Gearhart. Now, authorities are warning people about how dangerous elk are during calving season.

There were many close calls including when Larry Smith was walking his dog.

“This cow [elk] just appears up out of the grass right next to the trail we were on,” said Smith. “In an aggressive determined pace.”

His dog Zoozoo wanted nothing to do with the big mother elk.

“The dog pulled back out of her collar.”

But Smith tried to stand his ground.

“I made myself big and made a lot of noise, and it came straight at me even more and I was like, 'dude that didn't work.'”

Fire chief Bill Eddy says signs have been posted on trails warning people to stay clear of elk during calving season.

“People walk the dunes, their dogs aren't on leash, and we've had people try to take selfies with the elk,” said Eddy.

Eddy says the mother elk had to be tranquilized for her own safety. They found her calf in grass nearby and the pair was moved to a more peaceful area.

“Last time ODF saw them they were entering into the tree-line of the forest,” said city administrator Chad Sweet.

Smith says if he sees an elk again he'll take a cue from his dog.

“She wasn’t even barking, she usually always barks,” said Smith.

Next time, he won't try to stand his ground.

"I think you have to accept the fact you just have to back away.”

© 2017 KGW-TV


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