News Release

Bison Injures Visitor in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

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Date: July 28, 2019
Contact: Eileen Andes, 701-623-4466
Contact: Grant Geis, 701-623-4466

A visitor was injured by a bison in the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park on Saturday, July 27. The victim, a 17 year old from Colorado, was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Bismarck.  As the visitor is a juvenile, the name cannot be released.

At about 11:30 a.m. MDT, park staff was notified of the incident, which took place on the Lower Paddock Creek Trail near the Halliday Well trailhead. Park rangers and Billings County Emergency Medical Services responded.

A witness stated that the visitor was walking along the trail; a herd of bison was nearby. Two bull bison had been fighting moments prior and were on either side of the trail when the visitor walked between them. One bull charged from behind, striking them in the back and goring the back of the right thigh, tossing them about six feet into the air.

Park rangers and Billings County paramedics treated the patient at the scene until they could be taken by helicopter to Bismarck for further treatment. The patient was last reported to be in stable condition.

Park staff would like to remind visitors that bison are large, powerful, and wild. They can turn quickly and can easily outrun humans. Bulls can be aggressive during the rutting season, mid-July through August. Park regulations require that visitors stay at least 25 yards (the length of two full-sized busses) away from large animals such as bison, elk, deer, and horses.

National Parks are generally safe places and many people visit every year without incident, but visitors must make themselves aware of potential hazards.  National Park staff is happy to assist with trip planning and information is available at visitor centers and on individual park websites.

Last updated: July 29, 2019

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