An Arizona woman has died after being attacked by an elk she is suspected of feeding, becoming the first person to be killed by the species in the state’s history, local wildlife officials have said.
The attack happened at the end of October but the woman died this week after succumbing to her injuries in the hospital, CNN reported.
The tragedy unfolded when the unnamed woman’s husband arrived at their home in Pine Lake in the Hualapai Mountains to find her “on the ground in the backyard with injuries consistent with being trampled by an elk”, the Arizona game and fish department (AGFD) said in a statement.
The man also noticed a spilled bucket of corn nearby, the department added.
In response to the attack, local officials have been putting up warning signs about not feeding elk in local communities.
Five elk attacks have been reported in Arizona in the last five years, according to the department, but this is believed to be the first fatality.
Elk are rarely a threat to humans but are large, heavy mammals and can become dangerous when scared or otherwise distressed.
“Feeding puts at risk the person doing the feeding, their neighbors, and the wildlife itself. Please do not feed wildlife,” the AGFD statement said.
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This article was first published by The Guardian on 10 November 2023. Lead Image: Five elk attacks have been reported in Arizona in the last five years, according to the state’s game and fish department. Photograph: Tom Reichner/Alamy.