A 72-year-old tourist from California was harassed several times by a bison last week in Yellowstone National Park while trying to take photos of the animal, according to reports, citing a statement by National Park Service officials.
The unidentified woman “suffered multiple running injuries” on Thursday after she apparently got too close to the animal before accusing him, according to the statement. She was flown by helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, but her condition was unknown, ABC News reported.
She “approached less than 10 feet from a bison multiple times to take her photo,” Yellowstone senior bison biologist Chris Geremia said in the statement. “The series of events that led to fouling suggests that the bison was threatened by being repeatedly boarded within 10 feet.”
The statement advises people to keep a minimum of 25 yards between themselves and the animal, and to recognize aggressive behaviors as a warning sign, such as “kicking the ground, huffing, shaking their heads, bellowing, and raising their tails.”
“If that doesn’t make the threat (in this case it was a person) walk away, a threatened bison can attack … walk away if they get close and run away or find refuge if they accuse.”
Rangers rushed to the Bridge Bay camp and administered first aid until the doctors arrived. The incident is still under investigation.
An adult male bison can weigh more than 2,000 pounds and measure 6 feet tall, while females can weigh 1,000 pounds and measure 4 to 5 feet tall. Animals can reportedly reach speeds of up to 35 mph.
In May, a bison shot down a tourist at Old Faithful Upper Geyser Basin, NBC reported. In July 2019, a bison bull launched a 9-year-old girl into the air, although she was not seriously injured. The group he was with reportedly had been standing dangerously at a distance of 5 to 10 feet from the animal.
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