ESTES PARK, Colorado — A new video from Colorado shows a large bull elk hitting up the local gift shop. Unlike some videos where wild animals run amuck in stores and then quickly exit, this particular elk decided to spend 45 minutes browsing the merchandise.
According to a report from KTVB.com, the incident occurred in Estes Park, a town in northern Colorado that gets frequent elk visitors due to its proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park. In fact, elk are such a fixture in the area that the town hosts an annual Elk Fest.
Prateek Shakya, owner of the Water Wheel Gift Corner, told KTVB.com that he was filling a water bottle when the bull appeared outside his front door. He considered calling 911, then noticed that two police officers were already trying to prevent the elk from entering his store.
The elk was undeterred by the officers' pleas and walked into the store. Its antlers were so broad it had to turn its head to fit through the doorway. Shakya was then trapped insid because the elk was blocking the store's only door. So he decided to capture video of the strange encounter.
"He was calm and gentle, but I was nervous," Shakya said.
The elk stayed for about 45 minutes. He then exited the shop, only to return a few minutes later. The officers were finally able to lure him out for good by offering an apple to the bull.
The town of Estes Park has several wildlife interactions like this each year, such as when a herd of elk strolled through a local strip mall.
While these videos show the entertaining side of elk encounters, they can easily turn dangerous. Last year, a tourist in Estes Park was gored by a bull after getting recklessly close to the animal. The incident served as a reminder that while elk may appear docile, they should never be approached.