Most woodland animals would probably sprint in the opposite direction if they saw a crowd of humans running toward them, but not Buddy the Elk. Instead, our new fitspiration hero decided to join the annual Easter Bunny Hop 5K in Dayville, Oregon, last Saturday — and ended up trotting along with his human friends for almost the entire 3.1-mile course.
Turns out this isn't his first offense trying to fit in with humans. According to the Blue Mountain Eagle newspaper, the 3-year-old is a familiar face around the community, but this was his first time joining in a town activity.
Ryan Torland, district wildlife biologist from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), told the Blue Mountain Eagle that Buddy "thinks he's a person," which is probably a result of being raised by humans who later decided they didn't want to keep him.
Buddy first revealed his devotion to humans when the ODFW tried moving him to a wildlife area with his fellow elk because there were concerns he'd become aggressive during mating season. But Buddy, ever the athlete, trekked back to be near his human companions once again.
Buddy was moved to a different area on Tuesday, but we're betting on and/or dreaming of the day he triumphantly trots back into town while the Rocky theme song plays in the background.
Be sure to check out the pictures the Blue Mountain Eagle snagged because they're pretty hilarious: