GRAPHIC: Golfer hospitalized after being gored by elk in Colo.

Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 4:56 PM EDT
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EVERGREEN, Colo. (KCNC) - What started as a beautiful day out on the golf course ended with a man in the hospital after an elk attacked him, but wildlife officials say it isn’t surprising.

Zak Bornhoft’s wife says he was the passenger in a golf cart and closest to the elk when it started to approach them. Ultimately, they tried to drive away but she says that was when the elk struck her husband in the side with its antler.

“His pain is unmanageable at the moment,” said Megan Bornhoft.

Her husband said he and his golf partner were approached by an elk before the 17th hole. The elk then challenged them when they tried to drive away.

“At that point, the horn went into the back of Zak’s right side, his right hip, and we found out that it then went through to his left kidney. The urologist told me three inches higher and we wouldn’t even be sitting here,” she said.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife says fall is mating season for elk and it is best to keep as much distance as possible.

“During the rut, the bulls collect their harems and very aggressively will defend them, so it could definitely see a golf cart or people nearby as a challenger,” said Jason Clay with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Considering the circumstances, Megan Bornhoft says her husband is lucky. For now, he remains in the intensive care unit with a long recovery.

“I hope he gets back out there and continues to golf. I hope this doesn’t scare him away,” she said.

Denver Parks and Rec, which manages the golf course, says there was so much elk activity last weekend the starters were telling people which holes they might have to avoid and, if they see an elk, they should play around and not play through.

Copyright 2020 KCNC via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.

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