Within just three days’ time, two Yellowstone National Park visitors required hospitalization after encountering a bison. As a result, the park issued a reminder to current and future explorers to mind their distance from the “wild and unpredictable” animals.
The latest incident involved a 71-year-old woman who was visiting the park with her daughter. On June 29, the two from West Chester, Pennsylvania “inadvertently approached” a bull near Yellowstone Lake’s Storm Point. The women were trying to get back to their vehicle by the trailhead. Unfortunately, they had come too close to the bull and it charged the woman. Park officials quickly transported the woman to a hospital in Cody, Wyoming to receive treatment for her non-life-threatening injuries.
“(Heads Up!) Second visitor in three days gored by bison in Yellowstone National Park.
Visitors: Bison are wild and unpredictable. Stay more than 25 yards (23 m) away from them,” Yellowstone National Park reminded followers on Instagram.
The park also included a few key tips for visitor safety. This included:
- Giving bison space on trails, boardwalks, parking lots and campsites.
- Paying attention to warning signs for charging such as bluff charging, head bobbing, pawing, bellowing, or snorting.
- Evacuating the area immediately if the bison exhibits any warning signs.
Bison can run three times faster than humans, so following these tips is crucial for visitor safety when encountering large wildlife at Yellowstone National Park.
Male Visiting Yellowstone National Park Suffers Similar Fate
On June 27, a man visiting Yellowstone National Park with his family suffered a similar fate as the 71-year-old woman. The unnamed man from Colorado Springs, Colorado encountered a bison bull near Giant Geyser at Old Faithful.
According to the park’s report, the family was “walking with his family on a boardwalk when a bull bison charged the group. Family members did not leave the area, and the bull bison continued to charge and gored the male.”
The man sustained an injury to his arm, so park officials quickly transported him via ambulance to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
Officials are still investigating the incident, so no other details are available at the time.
Unfortunately, the two recent gorings aren’t that rare of an occasion. Within the past couple of years, bison encounters at Yellowstone National Park have been more prominent as tourists have become too comfortable around the wild animals. As a result, the bison have felt the need to take defensive measures.
“The animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be,” the park shared on its safety page. “The safest (and often best) view of wildlife is from inside a car. Always stay at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all other animals, including bison and elk.”