A tourist from California ignored Yellowstone National Park’s guidelines about keeping a safe distance from bison, approached one to within 10 feet multiple times to take photos and wound up with multiple goring wounds.
The unidentified 72-year-old woman received immediate medical care by park rangers before being flown via helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, Yellowstone National Park announced late Monday.
The incident, which is under investigation, occurred Thursday at the victim’s campsite at Bridge Bay Campground.
“The series of events that led to the goring suggest the bison was threatened by being repeatedly approached to within 10 feet,” Yellowstone’s Senior Bison Biologist Chris Geremia said.
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“Bison are wild animals that respond to threats by displaying aggressive behaviors like pawing the ground, snorting, bobbing their head, bellowing, and raising their tail. If that doesn’t make the threat (in this instance, it was a person) move away, a threatened bison may charge.
“To be safe around bison, stay at least 25 yards away, move away if they approach, and run away or find cover if they charge.”
Yellowstone officials are constantly warning tourists about distancing from wildlife in the park.
“When an animal is near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot or in a developed area, give it space,” the park stated in a media release. “Stay more than 25 yards away from all large animals—bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes, and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves.
“If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity.”
Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park.
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