Cypress woman survives elk attack on vacation in Yellowstone

- A Cypress woman is telling her story after being attacked by an elk while on vacation in Yellowstone National Park.

Penny Behr is left with bruises, head stitches and a broken rib after a walk between two cabins at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel in Wyoming landed her face to face with an angry elk.

"I took two steps back and said, 'Oh hi there,' said Penny. "And when I did that, the elk reared up. It knocked me to the ground. I felt the hooves hit my shoulder and my chest as it came down."

Fortunately, Penny's husband heard her scream before she blacked out. He came to the rescue and contacted park rangers.

"While we were attending to Penny, (the elk) stayed within about thirty or forty feet," said Penny's husband Andy.

Park rangers had to scare the elk away.

"...Shooting the elk with a paint gun to get it to go away," described Penny.

National Park Service officials say it is very common for cow elk to aggressively defend newborn calves and hide them near buildings and vehicles.

Penny's elk attack happened just two days after an elk attacked another woman at the same hotel. That woman had to be airlifted to the hospital with serious injuries. 

Penny said she wondered why the hotel gave her no warning about the elk dangers before her stay and why it has not responded to her questions after the attack.

Park rangers issued a warning to people after Penny's attack, telling anyone in Yellowstone to be extra cautious anywhere elk and calves are present and to approach blind corners slowly.

Penny said that despite the sling on her arm and the bruises and stitches, she's continuing her vacation with a trip to Utah before returning home to Texas.

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