Bison at Mammoth Campground, May 2019

Visitor gored by Yellowstone bison

A 72-year-old woman was gored after coming within 10 feet of a Yellowstone bison in an attempt to take a photo of it while camping at Bridge Bay Campground.

The incident occurred on the evening of June 25, 2020.

Rangers provided immediate medical care to the California woman, who sustained multiple goring wounds. She was then flown via helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. This incident is under investigation.

“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.”

Now’s as good a time as any to review how you should socially distance from Yellowstone wildlife. 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. And remember: a Yellowstone bison is not a prop for your selfie.

Photo of Yellowstone bison at Mammoth Campground courtesy NPS.

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