Another bison goring incident has occurred in Yellowstone National Park.
This marks the fifth incident of a bison encounter this season, following on the heels of a pair of incidents in late June and early July. The first two incidents happened in May and June respectively.
The bison goring incident occurred near the Fairy Falls trailhead. The victim, a 43-year-old woman from Mississippi, was attempting to take a picture with her daughter, near a bison approximately six yards away from them. When the women turned her back to the bison, the bison lurched forward. The pair attempted to run, but the bison caught the victim and tossed her. The woman’s husband moved in to shield her body while the bison ambled away about three yards.
The woman sustained minor injuries, which were treated at the Old Faithful Clinic.
“The family said they read the warnings in both the park literature and the signage, but saw other people close to the bison, so they thought it would be OK,” said Old Faithful District Ranger Colleen Rawlings in a National Park Service Yellowstone press release. “People need to recognize that Yellowstone wildlife is wild, even though they seem docile. This woman was lucky that her injuries were not more severe.”
The governing wisdom with bison in Yellowstone National Park is to keep your distance. You should stay at least 25 yard away from bison at any given time, along with other wildlife such as elk, bighorn sheep, deer, coyotes and moose. With animals like wolves and bears, visitors should stay at least 100 yards away.
Bison, for the record, are deceptively sedentary. Strong and bulky, they are able to sprint quickly and are, by disposition, reactive. If you see a bison near a boardwalk or on a trail, do not try to walk around it or near it. And do not, under any circumstance, try to take a photo. Bison have no patience for photography.