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Bison on the North Fork this spring.

A 72-year-old California woman was gored last Thursday after approaching within 10 feet of a bison in Yellowstone National Park to take a picture.

The incident occurred in the evening at the female’s campsite at Bridge Bay Campground, said a Park spokesperson.

Rangers provided immediate medical care to the woman who sustained multiple goring wounds. She was then flown via helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. Her name was not released.

“The series of events that led to the goring suggest the bison was threatened by being repeatedly approached to within 10 feet,” said Yellowstone’s senior bison biologist Chris Geremia. “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.”

This incident is under investigation.

Yellowstone is home to 4,527 bison, according to an August 2018 estimate. A male bull can weigh up to 2,000 pounds, can stand up to 6 feet tall, and run up to 35 mph, according to the Department of the Interior.

Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park are wild. When an animal is near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space. 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.

This marks the second bison incident of 2020 as a visitor was knocked to the ground by a bison last month after getting too close to it in the Upper Geyser Basin near Old Faithful. The woman was uninjured.

Last summer a 9-year-old girl was speared by a bison at Yellowstone. She suffered no major injuries and recovered from the incident. 

In 2018, a man was sentenced to 130 days in jail after caught on camera taunting a bison in Hayden Valley.

(1) comment

Fox Blue River

We may have to start issuing helmets.

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