YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — A 72-year-old woman from California was gored by a bison in Yellowstone National Park the evening of June 25 after approaching within 10 feet of the animal multiple times to take its photo.
The incident occurred at the woman’s campsite at Bridge Bay Campground.
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.
“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.
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 (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.
Read more about safety in the park, including how to behave around wildlife.