Rocky Mountain Elk (Cervus canadensis nelsoni)
Location: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA
The photos above were taken in succession just a few seconds apart. I had been photographing a small group of Elk cows that were grazing in a clearing in a pine forest in Rocky Mountain National Park. Suddenly this bull Elk came crashing through the trees at the edge of the clearing, and he was heading straight for me. He trotted toward me at a pretty good pace, vocalizing as he approached. I got the message immediately: "You leave my women alone!"
I made a hasty retreat -- probably not a moment too soon! Satisfied that I had withdrawn an acceptable distance, Mr. Elk slowed his pace and then stopped, but he remained vigilant until I was completely out of sight.