Woman Gored By Bison At Yellowstone After Getting ‘Within 10 Feet’ To Take A Photo

Wild animals are unpredictable and dangerous, y’all…

A 72-year-old California woman is recovering in an Idaho hospital right now after being gored by a bison while trying to take pictures of the animal at Yellowstone National Park late last week.

The National Park Service released a statement on Monday confirming the incident, which occurred at Bridge Bay Campground on the northwestern side of Yellowstone Lake. They did not identify the woman, or her current condition, beyond confirming she’d been flown to a hospital for treatment after receiving “sustained multiple goring wounds.” Whoa…

In their message, the NPS noted the incident occurred after the woman “approached within ten feet of a bison multiple times to take its photo.” Chris Geremia, a biologist for Yellowstone National Park, further stated the bison most likely felt threatened after being repeatedly approached, and lashed out in defense against the unwanted interest. Geremia continued with a warning for future encounters:

“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.”

Yikes!!

Unfortunately, this is far from the first time humans have gotten on the wrong side of wild bison in Yellowstone; just last month a park visitor was knocked to the ground by one after getting too close for comfort. And last July, a 9-year-old girl was tossed into the air by a baby bull bison after the animal charged a group of people. Going back a few more years, you’ll find countless stories of people getting too close to bison in the park, often resulting in unfortunate problems for the animal and their human counterparts.

Ironically, the park had been closed to the public for several months due to the coronavirus pandemic, and has only just been conducting a slow, phased re-opening over the past few weeks. Considering there have already been two person-on-bison incidents even in that limited scope suggests some folks might do well to listen to the guidelines put forth by the NPS here. And if not that, well, just practice some good ol’ social distancing in the park, OK?!

Snark aside, though, here’s hoping the woman involved enjoys a full, healthy recovery and can be discharged from the hospital soon. Wild animals are unpredictable and potentially aggressive — not cute, cuddly, and calm. We’d all do well to remember that and let them live unbothered!

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