Carrot-loving bull elk delights Montreal toddler

David Freiheit's daughters, aged 2 and 6, proved they're fearless last Saturday in this close-up encounter with a wapiti — or bull elk — that came looking for snacks at Parc Omega safari park, near Montebello, Que.

Montreal father captures daughters' reaction to close-up encounter with wapiti at Parc Omega, near Montebello

Montrealer David Freiheit captured a video of his two daughters feeding an elk, or wapiti, at Parc Omega on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2016.

Montrealer David Freiheit had only seen three wild deer in his life before visiting Parc Omega, a drive-through safari park just north of Montebello, 140 kilometres west of Montreal.

Freiheit captured a video of his two daughters, aged 2 1/2 and 6, feeding a bull elk – also known as a wapiti – that poked its sizeable head right through the rear open window of the family vehicle.

The family was headed to Montebello for the weekend, and when Freiheit saw the sign for the park, he decided to stop on the way.

"I never knew the place existed," Freiheit said. "It was awesome. The girls loved it."

After buying a one-kilogram bag of carrots at the entrance to the park and driving in, Freiheit said the car was "swarmed by animals."

"We had to make sure not to use them all up at the beginning," he said about their carrot supply. "We kept some for the animals at the end, too."

Despite the impressive size of some of the animals, Freiheit was amazed by how gentle they were.

"There were stags, deer, goats with huge antlers," he said. "Those elk were surprisingly big, with eyeballs the size of a small baseball ... or a clementine. They were more docile than any animal I've ever seen."

Freiheit was unperturbed about little fingers being mistaken for carrots — in fact, he was more concerned about hurting one of the four-legged visitors with his vehicle.

"I was worried about running over their feet," he said. "But they knew how to navigate around the car. They have soft lips and didn't use their teeth for anything."