Yet another elk stomps on person in Estes Park — an "unprecedented" three attacks in 8 days

A third person was charged and stomped on by a cow elk in Estes Park, Colorado last week — an "unprecedented" third attack in eight days.

And while the first two victims were both children — an 8-year-old riding her bike and a 4-year-old playing at a park (both which Boing Boing covered last week) — the third person was an adult who was walking her dog right in the middle of town on Friday.

What all three attacks had in common is that each victim had been in a residential neighborhood, had not provoked the attack, and were treated at a hospital.

And in each case, the elk —feeling threatened — was a protective mother that had a hidden calf or two nearby.

"We've never seen a year like this," said Colorado Parks and Wildlife manager Jason Duetsch.

From Advnture:

Early Friday morning, a woman was walking her dog on leash in downtown Estes Park, just outside Rocky Mountain National Park, when she startled a cow elk with its calf 20 yards away.

"The woman tried to run behind a tree for safety, but the elk knocked her to the ground, stomping and kicking her several times," reports Colorado Parks and Wildlife in a statement on the incident. 

"We've never seen a year like this," says Jason Duetsch, CPW Area Wildlife Manager. "We have no clear evidence to suggest these attacks were from the same animal, which underscores how uncommon the elk behavior has been."

Though cow elk with young calves are known to be aggressive, unprovoked attacks from a distance such as these are highly unusual, and the CPW is urging the public to be aware of their surroundings, give elk a wide berth through the early summer and keep dogs on leash at all times.

Although each victim went to the hospital, "Thankfully no one was hurt," said Tim Kroening, another CPW manager, via Gear Junkie. "This incident serves as a reminder to watch for wildlife and keep a close eye on your children and pets."