YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — In an attempt to get a photo with a bison a 72-year-old woman “sustained multiple goring wounds” when she got too close.
The unidentified California woman repeatedly approached the bison within 10 feet for a photo when the animal charged her and gored her repeatedly, according to park officials. She was flown by helicopter from the Bridge Bay Campground to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
“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.
Warnings throughout the park ask visitors to stay at least 25 yards away from bison and to pay attention to the animal’s behavior.
“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,” Geremia said.
The incident is under investigation, park officials said.
This is the second incident involving bison in the park in 2020. A woman was attacked just two days after the park’s reopening in May when she also ignored guidance to stay at least 25 yards away.
Last year, a 9-year-old was thrown into the air by a bison at the park. A video taken by a bystander shows the bison tossing the girl in the air as people run away from the charging animal.