News Release

Visitor Injured by Bison at Theodore Roosevelt National Park

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Date: July 18, 2023
Contact: Angie Richman, 701-623-4466

MEDORA, ND:  A female visitor from Minnesota was severely injured by a bison at Painted Canyon in Theodore Roosevelt National Park on Saturday, July 15. She was transported by ambulance to a hospital in Dickinson and was last reported to be in serious but stable condition. Park staff send their sincere well wishes to her and her family as she continues to receive care and recover.

At about 11:00 a.m. MDT, park staff were notified of the incident, which took place at the Painted Canyon Trailhead. Park Rangers and Billings County Sheriff and Emergency Medical Services responded and treated the patient at the scene until she could be taken by ambulance to Dickinson for further medical care. The patient was then transported to a hospital in Fargo. The woman sustained significant injuries to her abdomen and foot. The incident is still under investigation and the exact details of what occurred are not known at this time.

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. Use extra caution and give them additional space during this time. 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, pronghorn, and horses. If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in proximity.
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.

For more information about safety at Theodore Roosevelt National Park visit


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Last updated: July 18, 2023

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