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Woman trampled to death by an elk in Arizona, prompting officials to warn against feeding animals

An Arizona woman has died more than a week after she was trampled by elk near outside her home, wildlife officials said Tuesday.

The woman, who has not been named, died eight days after being attacked by an animal on her property in the remote Pine Lake community in the Hualapai Mountains, 15 miles southeast of Kingman.

The department said it was believed to be the first fatal elk attack in the state’s history. There have been five attacks recorded in the last five years, it said.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department said in a statement that the woman’s husband found her on the ground in the couple’s back yard at 6 p.m. on October 26, “with injuries consistent with being trampled by an elk.”

Nearby was a bucket of spilled corn nearby, the department said, prompting it to repeat long-made warnings that the public should not feed elk or other large animals.

The woman was taken to a hospital in Las Vegas and placed in a medically-induced coma. She died on November 3. The Clark County Medical Examiner’s office determined the death to be an accident.

The Game and Fish Department visited the property on October 28 to hand signs warning people not to feed or approach any elk.

The department said that when they are fed wildlife they can become accustomed to being around humans — which can lead to attacks and injuries. In 2015, two children received minor injuries after elk circled a picnic table in the Hualapai Mountains. In 2021, a woman received serious head injuries from an elk that had become habituated to humans in Pine.

“The public is urged to help keep wildlife wild. Wildlife that are fed by people, or that get food sources from items such as unsecured garbage or pet food, lose their natural fear of humans and become dependent on unnatural food sources,” the department said in its statement.

“Feeding puts at risk the person doing the feeding, their neighbors, and the wildlife itself. Please do not feed wildlife.” 

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