A photographer found himself in a sparring match with a spike bull elk while taking pictures in the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina last month, with most of it being caught on camera.
Roger Trentham, of the Knoxville News Sentinel's GoSmokies blog, spotted the impromptu man vs. elk match
in Catalooche, N.C.
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The newspaper said 20 people were watching and photographing the bull elk with a group of 10 cows and three calves when Trentham spotted the unidentified man, sitting on the ground with his photography equipment and the large elk pushing his horns against the man's head.
"The man lowered his head to avoid eye contact and covered his face with his arms while the spike placed the crown of his head between his antlers against the man's head and began turning back and forth," Trentham wrote on his blog
. "The man protected himself as best he could with his arms while clutching his camera and this went on for several minutes."
Trentham wrote that the elk stopped sparring with the man just briefly before taking a few steps back and started again before a nearby car caught its attention. The man did not appear to be injured.
The photographer, James York, told ABC News, "I was hoping he might just take a little sniff and move away but he didn't."'
"He has his head cocked to the side and his horns are down and his eye is locked right on me," York said.
But he came out unscathed, and even managed to retrieve his camera equipment after a car scared the elk away.
"Everyone says I have a hard head," York told ABC. "Well, I am glad I do because it came in handy that day."
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