Jan Åkesson was out walking his two Jack Russels in Skipås, a town to the south of Gothenburg on Sweden’s west coast, when he sensed he was no longer alone.
“I heard something behind my back and there it was – an elk mother with her two calves, just ten metres away,” he told The Local.
“I panicked and started to run away, but she came after me. Somehow, I managed to punch her in the nose and she ran away… but not for long.”
In the ensuing confusion, Åkesson realized one of his dogs had gone missing, and he backtracked until he found the hiding hound.
But the mother elk wasn’t finished with the wandering Swede.
“The elk came back again, running at full speed from 50 metres away,” Åkesson recounted.
“I ran like hell, screaming loudly to scare her away, with a dog under each of my arms.”
While Åkesson and his pets escaped with nothing but a few scratches and bruises, he decided to take action against the errant elk.
“I reported it to the police. Now it’s up to them to decide if the elk should be hunted down. But that elk is a threat to our neighbourhood.”
While Åkesson believes the elk felt threatened and was likely protecting her calves, he confessed to being too scared to go back into the forest area near his house.
“I am scared that it might happen again, I have a one-year-old child, and we want to be able to go out without being afraid. The elk is dangerous.”
For now, the Swede admits that if it wasn’t for his quick reflexes he might not have lived to tell the tale.
“I was scared to death,” he told The Local.
“If I hadn’t hit her she would have bloody well run me over and who knows what would have happened then.”
Åkesson has still not heard back from the police as to whether any action will be taken.
Elk attacks are relatively uncommon in Sweden, although elk are responsible for more human fatalities than any other animal in the country.
Some 5,300 people were in accidents on Swedish roads in 2012 after colliding with elk.