The incident occurred on Oct. 26 on her property in the Pine Lake community in the Hualapai Mountains. Authorities said that the husband found his wife on the ground when he returned home around 6 p.m. that day “with injuries consistent with being trampled by an elk.”
A bucket of spilled corn lay nearby and no other witnesses were present.
While the victim’s husband reacted immediately, calling emergency services, his wife had to be put into a medically induced coma because of the extent of her injuries at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to ABC News.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) was notified of the attack the following day by a local resident. An AZGFD officer who visited the home noted “multiple elk tracks in the yard” and told residents not to feed any wild animals that may travel through the area.
While this is the first fatal elk attack in Arizona, it isn’t the first attack. In fact, over the past five years, there have been five reported elk attacks in the state.
“Feeding is one of the main sources of conflict between humans and wildlife. Fed wildlife becomes habituated to humans,” said officials. “For example, in 2015, two children suffered minor injuries after a food-seeking elk circled a picnic table from which their family was eating in the Hualapai Mountains. In 2021, an adult female received serious head injuries from an elk that was habituated to humans in Pine.”
This is an unfortunate reminder that humans shouldn’t try to interact directly with wild animals.