A photographer was photographing elk in the Cataloochee Valley in Great Smokey Mountain National Park when a young bull elk decided to get a closer look at his camera.

After his initial inspection, he wanted a closer look at the photographer and actually started head-butting him.  The photographer is seen just sitting in the road, taking the abuse.  Why didn't he run?

'My first thoughts were "wow, he's getting pretty damn close here." But I've been up close before without incident. I hoped being still and passive would see him pass on. When he lowered his antlers to me, I wanted to keep my vitals protected and my head down. I felt that standing up would provoke him more and leave me more vulnerable to goring. I think that while protecting myself with my head down, having my head down was a signal that I was rutting with him. I was concerned at first, but when he started rearing back and lunging at me later on, I got scared and pissed off. That's when I wagged my finger at him to cut that shit out. I was relieved to see the Ranger coming.'

The amazing part to me was when the photographer snapped shots of the elk in between head butts. Talk about dedication to your job!

Get a close up look.