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Elk euthanized after attacking woman

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JASPER, Alta.—Parks Canada says it has euthanized an elk in Jasper National Park after it injured a woman in a parking lot.

In an e-mailed statement, the federal agency said the woman was in a lot at the Pyramid Beach trail site last week when the female elk knocked her down and kicked her.

The animal was chased away by the woman's companion and the woman was treated in hospital.

The statement said Parks Canada found the elk and monitored it for three days, eventually opting to destroy it due to the severity of the attack.

Herds of elk are common in and around Jasper as they use the townsite to escape from predators.

A warning remains in place for possible aggressive elk for the Pyramid and Patricia beach areas.

Parks Canada said in the statement that the incident was not a case of a tourist putting themselves in a bad spot.

Visitors are warned that elk may not appear threatening, but they can be aggressive and attack without warning.

Parks Canada said in case of an encounter with an elk, you should raise your arms or any big object to make yourself appear larger, maintain eye contact, and never turn your back or run.

They also say to climb a tree or keep an object, such as a tree or large rock, between yourself and the elk.

Back slowly out of the area, and if you are knocked down or fall, get up and try to move to cover or use an object to protect yourself.

Do not play dead, the statement said.

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