SHARE

A wild video clip recently posted to Instagram shows a herd of caribou stampeding toward a pickup truck on a remote stretch of dirt road in central Alaska. Driver Clinton Kerns told Viral Hog that he’d stopped the truck to observe the 100-animal herd from a distance when the caribou turned on a dime in unison and began charging at his truck.

“Here’s the caribou herd,” Kerns can be heard saying with the critters coming straight for him. “This isn’t good,” he adds, blaring the horn and yelling as the animals get increasingly closer. Suddenly, the herd splits with half the caribou splintering off to the right of the truck and the other half veering left. “Yeah, let’s go the other way, guys,” Kerns tells them.

According to Kerns, the behavior in the video is extremely uncommon behavior for caribou, which are normally cautious in the presence of people. After the video cuts out, the animals milled around for a bit and then moved down to a nearby river to join another groups of caribou, he told Viral Hog.

The incident took place just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska on April 22, and Viral Hog shared it on the internet yesterday. In the springtime, caribou herds migrate north toward calving grounds and summer ranges, sometimes moving en masse by the tens of thousands.

Related: Watch a Sow Grizzly with Cubs Bluff Charge a Moving Pickup Truck

According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Alaska is home to 32 different caribou herds, and each one is defined by its distinct calving grounds. One of the largest herds near Fairbanks is the Fortymile Herd.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) says the Fortymile Herd became so large in recent years that it outgrew the carrying capacity of its habitat. Hunters were then called upon to reduce the population through increased harvest rates. As of 2023, the caribou quota for the Fortymile Herd has been reduced to more normal bag limits, typically one bull caribou during the fall and one bull caribou during the winter for each hunter.