Tourist gored by bison in Yellowstone after allegedly getting within 10 feet for a photo
Last week, a 72-year-old Californian woman was gored multiple times at Yellowstone National Park when she is alleged to have gotten within ten feet of a bison in order to take a photograph of the wild animal.
In a statement shared by the National Parks Service (NPS), authorities say they’re investigating the June 25 incident that took place not far from the Bridge Bay Campground, which sits near Yellowstone Lake and is one of the largest campgrounds in the park. In the statement, Yellowstone Senior Bison Biologist Chris Geremia explains the seriousness of getting in the personal space of bison and emphasizes the importance of staying at least 25 yards (23 meters) away from the animals:
‘The series of events that led to the goring suggest the bison was threatened by being repeatedly approached to within 10 feet […] 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.’
The unnamed woman received immediate medical care and was flown via helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. No subsequent information has been shared on the woman’s condition at this time. This isn’t the first time visitors have been injured or killed while attempting to take photographs of the animals inside Yellowstone National Park, despite multiple warnings posted throughout the park and on the NPS website.
|A photograph of just one of the many signs within the park warning visitors to keep their distance from the wild animals.|
The NPS reiterated in the news release the following guidelines for how distant you should keep from the various wildlife within the park:
‘Stay more than 25 yards (23 m) away from all large animals - bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes and at least 100 yards (91 m) 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.’
People are understandably excited to get back out to explore nature — this incident occurred just two days after the park re-opened following restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic — but it’s not worth risking lives (or camera gear) for the shot.
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