A bull bison gored a man near Old Faithful’s Giant Geyser in Yellowstone National Park earlier this week.
This is the second time this year, and in less than 30 days, “that a visitor got too close to a bison and the animal responded to the perceived threat by goring the individual,” according to Yellowstone officials.
As a result, the National Park Service (NPS) is, again, warning visitors that bison have injured more people in Yellowstone than any other animal. Since they are unpredictable and can run three times faster than humans, it is important for visitors to always “stay at least 25 yards away from bison,” the NPS explains.
“If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in proximity,” the NPS cautions.
The Two Gorings
In the most recent incident, a 34-year-old man from Colorado Springs, Colorado, was walking with his family on a boardwalk when a bull bison charged the group. The family did not leave the area, and the bull bison charged again and gored the man, the NPS reports.
The man, who “sustained an injury to his arm,” was transported by ambulance to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
This incident remains under investigation
The other goring took place on May 30. In that incident, as a bison walked near a boardwalk at Black Sand Basin, near Old Faithful, a 25-year-old woman from Grove City, Ohio, approached the bison and got within 10 feet of it. The bison then gored the woman and tossed her 10 feet into the air, according to the NPS.
The woman, who sustained a puncture wound and other injuries, was immediately treated by park emergency personnel before being transported by ambulance to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
How To Be Safe Around Bison
Male bison, known as bulls, can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and be 6 feet tall. Female bison, known as cows, can weigh up to 1,000 pounds and be 4–5 feet tall, according to the Department of the Interior. Although noticeably smaller, of course, bison calves still weigh somewhere between 30 and 70 pounds at birth.
There were more than 5,400 bison in Yellowstone last year, the NPS reports.
“The animals in Yellowstone, including bison, are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be,” the NPS cautions.
To give wildlife space, NPS regulations require visitors to stay more than 25 yards away from all large animals, which includes bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes. Visitors must stay at least 100 yards from bears and wolves.
If one of the animals begins to get too close, turn around and go the other way to maintain a safe distance.
Finally, if you’re interested in taking pictures of wildlife, park officials recommend using the “rule of thumb.” Here’s how to do that: Hold your thumb up and out at arm’s length. If you can cover the entire wild animal with your thumb, you’re probably a safe distance away.
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