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Bison Injures Woman at Old Faithful

On the afternoon of May 1, 2018, a bison injured a woman at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park.

According to a Yellowstone press release, 72-year-old Virginia Junk of Boise Idaho was walking around a trail bend when she suddenly encountered a bison. The bison then butted her thigh and tossed her off the trail. Junk received minor injuries

Rangers responded to the bison incident and treated Junk on the scene. An ambulance later transported Junk to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, Idaho. No citations were issued.

This is the first bison incident of 2018.

In 2017, a bison in the Mud Volcano area butted a couple from Heber City, Utah. The pair received minor injuries and were taken by Life Flight to Idaho Falls. No citations were issued.

In 2015, five people were injured by bison You can see the full bison incident list below:

Mid-May 2015: a 16-year-old visitor was seriously injured after attempting to take a picture with a bison. Reports say she got within three to six feet of the animal and was gored.

Early June 2015: a 62-year-old man was tossed while attempting to photograph a bison from three to five feet away. His injuries were considered serious but not life-threatening.

Late June/early July 2015: June 23, a 19-year-old employee was tossed by a bison she accidentally encountered while off-trail late at night. Her injuries were considered minor. July 1, a 68-year-old woman was gored when she attempted to walk around a bison hanging out on the Storm Point trail. Her injuries were serious.

Late July 2015: a 43-year-old woman was gored while trying to take a picture with her daughter and a bison standing 18 feet away. The bison charged and tossed the woman, who put herself between the animal and her daughter. She sustained minor injuries.

In March 2016, the Center for Disease Control issued a report warning Yellowstone visitors against trying to take selfies with bison.

Park policy mandates that visitors stay at least 25 yards away from wildlife like bison and elk—especially bison, which are very territorial animals. Visitors should stay at least 100 yards away from wildlife like bears and wolves.

If you encounter bison while walking on trails in Yellowstone National Park, turn around as soon as possible. In addition, be vigilant when walking or hiking, keeping an eye out for signs of bison and other wildlife.

It’s also common to encounter bison on the roads of Yellowstone National Park—sometimes in groups large enough to cause traffic jams. If you’re driving by a herd of bison, be sure and give them plenty of room. Don’t try and pass bison crossing the road, because they will not hesitate to ram your car.

About Sean Reichard

Sean Reichard is the editor of Yellowstone Insider and author of Yellowstone Insider For Families 2017.

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