GREAT VIDEO: Elk Spars With Photographer in Great Smoky Mountains

Posted on: 10:28 am, November 15, 2013, by

GATLINBURG, Tenn. – In a video that has now gone viral, an elk faced off with a photographer who was documenting the animals at sunrise on a fall day in the Cataloochee Valley of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee last month.

Instead of smiling for the camera, the video shows the elk repeatedly headbutting the photographer, who has been identified as James York, as he was sitting on the side of the road. Eventually, a ranger rescues York in the clip, which was uploaded to YouTube on Nov. 12 by another photographer Vince M. Camiolo.

According to the video description, this is how York described the incident to Camiolo:

“I was concerned at first, but when he started rearing back and lunging at me later on, I got scared,” York said. “That’s when I wagged my finger at him. … I was relieved to see the Ranger coming.”


  • wade says:

    Looks setup.

  • Kat says:

    the things we will do to get a photograph!!!

  • Hans says:

    This is what young elks do – he is just play fighting. If this elk really wanted to hurt or injure or kill this photographer, the elk could have done it in one violent lunge. So, the elks is just having fun.

  • That is so sweet!he found a new friend..he wasnt trying to hurt the man or he surly would have….at the end,he even tried to get the guys back pack…he was intrigued…..the guy should have tried to pet him……

  • Sue says:

    Wow! Never saw an elk close up before. Cute. The elk was tryimg to be friends and play. Funny!

  • Kathy says:

    My question is, why in the world didn’t the people in the HUGE black SUV, or the ones who took this video do what the Ranger did? Pull up to the man and let him get in. I am definitely SMH on that one. All for the thrill of a video? shame on you!

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