A tragic incident unfolded in Arizona as a woman lost her life more than a week after a harrowing encounter with elk on her property, according to wildlife officials who made the announcement on Tuesday.
The victim, who remains unidentified, passed away eight days after being attacked by one of these animals on her remote property in Pine Lake, a community nestled within the Hualapai Mountains, about 15 miles southeast of Kingman.
This unfortunate incident marked a grim milestone as the first recorded fatal elk attack in Arizona’s history, as per the Arizona Game and Fish Department. In the past five years, there have been a total of five reported elk attacks.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department issued a statement, describing how the woman’s husband discovered her in their backyard around 6 p.m. on October 26. She had sustained injuries consistent with being trampled by an elk. In close proximity, a spilled bucket of corn was found, underscoring a longstanding caution that the public should refrain from feeding elk and other large animals.
The injured woman was transported to a hospital in Las Vegas and placed in a medically-induced coma. Tragically, she succumbed to her injuries on November 3, with the Clark County Medical Examiner’s office attributing her death to an accident.
Recognizing the gravity of the situation, the Game and Fish Department took immediate action, visiting the property on October 28 to install signs warning against feeding or approaching elk.
The department emphasized the dangers of feeding wildlife, highlighting that when animals are provided with food by humans, they become accustomed to human presence, which can ultimately lead to attacks and injuries. This problem has been encountered before in the Hualapai Mountains, where, in 2015, two children suffered minor injuries when elk circled a picnic table. Similarly, in 2021, a woman sustained severe head injuries due to an elk habituated to human presence in Pine.
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In its statement, the department urged the public to respect and preserve the wild nature of wildlife, cautioning against feeding animals, as it not only jeopardizes the safety of those offering food but also endangers neighbors and the animals themselves. The resounding message is clear: “Please do not feed wildlife.”