Woman dies after apparent elk attack near northwestern Arizona home
Nov 8, 2023, 7:45 AM
(AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
PHOENIX — A woman is dead more than a week after an apparent elk attack at her home in northwestern Arizona, authorities said Tuesday.
Arizona Game and Fish Department officials believe it is the first fatal elk attack in state history.
There were indications the woman was feeding the elk at the time she was attacked on Oct. 26.
She was found injured by her husband after he arrived to their property in the Pine Lake community, about 15 miles southeast of Kingman.
The woman, whose name was not released, was on the ground in the backyard with injuries that appeared to be consistent with being trampled by an elk. There was also a bucket of spilled corn nearby.
She was taken to the Kingman Regional Medical Center and then to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, where she was placed in a medically induced coma due to the extent of her injuries.
AZGFD was notified that she died on Nov. 3.
The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the woman’s death to be caused by an accident.
Precautions taken after first fatal elk attack in Arizona
AZGFD officials were first notified about the attack on Oct. 27, after a local resident informed a department officer.
The next day, another department officer went to the community to put door hanger signs on homes along the road advising people to not approach or feed elk. While the officer was at the woman’s home speaking with her husband, multiple elk tracks were seen in the yard.
After the woman died, additional AZGFD officers went door to door in the Pine Lake community to put up more signs advising people to not feed elk.
The department said it will continue monitoring elk activity and putting up warning signs.
How common are elk attacks in Arizona?
There have been five other reported elk attacks in the state over the last five years, according to AZGFD.
Feeding wildlife is one of the main sources of conflict, therefore, people are advised to not intentionally feed them, secure all garbage, feed pets indoors and trim the shrubs.
The public is also encouraged to keep wildlife wild by throwing rocks or making loud noise to keep animals away, making them more likely to live a longer life.