Elk rutting season is underway, which means you've got to be careful when visiting your favourite national parks. A 2016 video of an Alberta elk charging a man has recently resurfaced. The man who captured the video said that it speaks to the dangers of interacting with the animals around this time of the year. 

According to the Town of Banff, the rutting season occurs between late August and mid-October.

Seeing how the animals are breeding at this time, the male elk, also known as the bull elk, is known to get aggressive

Joe Urie, the owner and guide at the Jasper Tour Company, captured a video years ago that shows a large one charging a guy that had been taking photos. 

At the beginning of the video, the animal is relatively calm, slowly moving in place. But suddenly, it begins charging the photographer, sending him running for his life.

The video ends with the photographer making it back to his truck. 

Urie told Narcity that it's not just rutting season we have to be worried about. "At any time of the year, all these wild animals are unpredictable," he said. 

You can't make any guesses about their behaviour, explained Urie. 

He pointed out that many of the animals close to the roadways in Banff or Jasper "behave differently" than the ones who are further back in the bush, "the ones who don't see people often." 

Urie told us that "in the middle of the summer," the animals are too busy trying to fetch food for themselves to properly notice the humans lingering in their space. "Those people don't pose any threat."

But when visitors return in September and try to get close to the animals, it's a very different story. "The dynamic has changed," he said. 

"The key message is to respect the animal space all-year-round."

Another thing he wants the public to note is that we need to be careful while in our vehicles as well. "Just because you're in your car doesn't make you safe." 

He directed us to another video posted by the Jasper Tour Company in which a bull elk is spotted smashing into a white vehicle. 

"We watched that bull last year wreck three different automobiles on three separate occasions."

Other tips offered by the Town of Banff include travelling in groups, maintaining a distance of at least 30 metres between you and the elk, carrying pepper spray or an umbrella as protection, and more. 

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