Swedish woman injured in Umeå elk attack

A woman was injured when she was attacked by an elk while out walking her dog in Umeå, according to a local media report.

Swedish woman injured in Umeå elk attack
File photo: Jonathan Hayward/AP/TT

The woman, who is in her thirties, alerted police to the attack herself as she tried to escape from the animal, reports Västerbottens-Kuriren.

“She was out strolling in the forest between Tomtebo and Carlshem when an elk began chasing her,” regional command duty officer Mattias Borin said.

Two patrol cars were despatched by police to assist the woman. By the time they arrived, the elk had moved off. The woman was taken to hospital and treated for a shoulder injury.

Police said they were trying to track down the animal following the attack.

“This elk is living on borrowed time. We have issued a death sentence against it,” Borin said.

Orders for elk to be killed are commonly issued by police in Sweden if people are attacked.



‘Stop taking selfies with elk,’ police warn Stockholmers

Stockholm police have asked the public to stop taking photos with elk, after several of the wild animals had to be killed after getting agitated by selfie-takers.

'Stop taking selfies with elk,' police warn Stockholmers
Whether in nature or in the city, if you do see an elk in Sweden, always keep a distance. Photo: Lola Akinmade Åkerström/

Police needed to shoot the elk after they wandered into residential areas including Nacka and Enskede in the capital, Mitt i Stockholm reports.

“An elk that has got lost can usually find its way back if it is calm. But when people run up and take pictures, it becomes stressed and aggressive. It is utterly misanthropic and it’s outrageous that people do not understand better,” police officer Kenneth Kronberg, responsible for the National Game Accident Council (NVR), told the newspaper. 

“Game wardens have agreed that there is nothing wrong with the elk in the city. However, they get very stressed because there are so many people trying to take pictures. That’s why we have to kill the elk, because of 08-ers [a pejorative term for Stockholmers] who think the animal world looks like a Walt Disney movie.”

As well as avoiding taking photos with the animals, police also urged the public to avoid attempting to pet or stroke them, or getting too close. If you see a wild elk, instead you should keep a safe distance away.

In 2017, a rare while elk drew crowds of visitors hoping to catch a glimpse after a video went viral, and again police had to warn the public to treat the animal with care and avoid approaching it. The elk then grew aggressive, charging at a dog-walker, which led police to say they would need to kill the elk if they could not chase it away from the residential area.