A 72-year-old woman from California repeatedly approached a bison, even going within just a few metres of the massive of animal, before it attacked her in Yellowstone National Park.
Park officials said the visitor went right up to the animal “multiple times” to take a photo when it gored her near her campground on June 25. The incident was only released to the public this week.
“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 in a statement Monday. “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.”
People should always stay at least 75 feet (or 23 metres) away from bison, park officials said. The animals can be dangerous, especially if they feel threatened.
“Move away if they approach, and run away or find cover if they charge,” Geremia added.
The unnamed woman was taken by helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for treatment of multiple goring wounds.
The encounter is still being investigated.
It’s the second park-goer to be injured by a bison this year.
On May 20, a woman was knocked down by a bison in the Old Faithful Upper Geyser Basin after she went within 25 yards of the animal.
She declined transport to hospital.
Main Photo: NPS / Jacob W. Frank