It's only October, but one bull elk in Yellowstone National Park is already getting into the festive spirit.

A little something to brighten your day.

Yellowstone employee Steve Rupno filmed this bull elk draped in a string of Christmas lights last month in the famous Mammoth Hot Springs area of the park. "It’s rut season in the park, the bulls clean and sharpen their antlers on trees," Rupno explained to MSN. "The tree he chose had Christmas lights on it which got tangled in his antlers."

While its hard not to chuckle at a 700-pound bugling elk sporting festive headgear, the situation is not one to be taken, er, lightly. During elk mating season – known as a rut – bulls sometimes engage in vicious bouts of antler wrestling with rival males as they compete for mating rights over a harem of females. When they aren't locking tines with the competition, they may use their antlers to fight off any threats, so a tangle of lights could prove a significant hindrance.

Fortunately for this "enlightened" bull, Yellowstone park rangers were able to tranquilise him and safely remove the lights. The decorations hardly seemed to bother the bull who, despite looking like a living Christmas tree, was filmed vocalising loudly to draw the attention of willing females. During mating season, male elk let out ear-piercing shrieks known as bugles, and for many years scientists puzzled over exactly how these massive deer are able to make such shrill calls.

Larger animals typically have larger vocal chords which produce sounds with lower tones. The secret to the elk's banshee scream is a phenomenon known as biphonation. Elk effectively create two distinct sounds simultaneously – a low-pitched roar mixed with a high-pitching whistle produced "either by flaring and contracting the nostrils or by air vibrating the soft palate," David Reby of the United Kingdom's University of Sussex and co-author of a study on elk bugles told National Geographic in 2016.

Reby speculates that the two different tones serve distinct functions. The low roars show off an elk's size to rival males nearby, while high-pitched wails simultaneously advertise his presence to faraway females.

For this elk, however, the bugle might translate to: "I'm feeling a bit light-headed."

Top header image: Shutter Fotos, Flickr