The incident took place on June 25 at the woman’s campsite near Yellowstone Lake, the park said, and adds that the woman got within 10 feet of the bison multiple times resulting in “multiple goring wounds.” She was flown by helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. Park officials did not reveal the woman’s identity and said it does have not an update on her condition in a statement to TIME.
“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.”
The incident happened as Yellowstone slowly reopens to visitors after shutting down on March 24 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Montana entrances to the park opened on June 1.
Another park-goer was hurt at Yellowstone on June 22, but received only minor injuries after she encountered two grizzly bears while on a hiking alone. The woman, 37 from Missouri, was knocked down by a female grizzly and was scratched on her thigh. She also received minor injuries to her face, according to a park statement, which urges people to hike in groups of three or more.
Park officials urge the public to remember that Yellowstone is home to hundreds of wild species, including two species of bears and other carnivores. Officials say to stay more than 25 yards away from all large animals, including bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes, and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves.
Last year, a 9-year-old girl was launched into the air by a charging bison at Yellowstone. The group was also between five and 10 feet away from the bison for at least 20 minutes before it charged. The girl was treated at a nearby hospital and survived.
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