For the second time this week, a woman was taken to the hospital after being attacked by an elk in Yellowstone National Park.
Penny Behr, 53, encountered the animal behind the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Tuesday morning, according to a news release. The Texas woman was walking between two cabins when she was surprised by the elk bedded along the cabin wall with a calf nearby.
Officials say Behr attempted to back away but the elk followed and struck her in the head and torso with its legs.
Behr was taken by ambulance to Livingston Memorial Hospital.
On Sunday, 51-year-old Charlene Triplett was attacked by an elk behind the same hotel. Park officials say the animal was protecting a calf bedded down roughly 20 feet away and hidden by other cars.
The elk reared up and kicked the Las Vegas woman multiple times with its front legs, hitting her head, torso, and back, according to a news release. Triplett was flown to the trauma center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical due to her severe injuries.
Triplett is an employee at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and at the time of the incident, she was off duty.
Officials are unsure if the same elk is responsible for both attacks.
It's common for cow elk to aggressively defend newborn calves and hide them near buildings and cars. Park rangers remind all visitors to be extra cautious near elk and calves and approach blind corners slowly. Officials recommend staying at least 25 yards away from wild animals.
Rangers have hazed the elk away from the cabins and continue to monitor the area.
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