ST. LOUIS COUNTY • The signs at Lone Elk Park read: “Absolutely do not approach the elk!”
But the signs apparently aren’t enough.
Within the past two weeks, two people have been injured by charging elk in the west St. Louis County park, alongside Interstate 44 near Valley Park, after ignoring the warnings.
Lone Elk Park officials say they usually get about one report every year of someone being gored. The animals are especially dangerous during mating season, which lasts from about mid-August into December, when bulls are especially aggressive.
Since Sept. 30, two women have been injured when they got near the herd of 17 elk.
“I was so upset,” Burgess told the Post-Dispatch on Monday. “I just want people to know what can happen when you get so close.”
As Burgess rounded the park, he said he saw two more groups of people walking near the elk and told them to move back.
Local hospitals could not confirm if they got a patient reporting an elk injury Sunday.
The incident followed an earlier goring on Sept. 30, said Tom Ott, assistant director of the St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation.
A woman in that case got too close to a bull and was gored in the lower back, Ott said. Rangers reported that she had a hole in her back and was taken to the hospital, but was able to walk.
The incident prompted additional signs in the park instructing people to stay away from the elk, though there were already seasonal signs that read: “Elk mating season: Use extra caution.
Story re-posted: By Erin Heffernan St. Louis Post-Dispatch