Park Visitor Injured in Bison Encounter

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Date: May 16, 2015

Amy Bartlett
(307) 344-2015
e-mail us 

Yesterday a Taiwanese girl sustained serious, but not life threatening injuries resulting from an encounter with a bison in the Old Faithful area of Yellowstone National Park.

Shortly after noon on Friday, a 16-year-old exchange student was visiting Upper Geyser Basin with her host family. While hiking near Old Faithful Geyser, the family joined a group of people watching a bison grazing adjacent to the trail. According to first hand reports, the group was somewhere between three and six feet from the bison. The girl turned her back to the bison to have her picture taken when the bison lifted its head, took a couple steps and gored her.

When responding rangers arrived on scene, there was a group of people less than ten feet from the grazing bison. The rangers, with assistance from bystanders, moved the girl a safe distance from the bison. The girl was transported to the Old Faithful Clinic, treated and then taken by helicopter ambulance for further medical treatment.

Visitors are reminded that Yellowstone wildlife is wild. Wildlife should not be approached, no matter how tame or calm they appear. Visitors must stay at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves and at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all other large animals - bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes. Bison can sprint three times faster than humans can run and are unpredictable and dangerous. Just because an animal may be near a trail or boardwalk does not mean it should be approached within the recommended safe distances. Visitors are advised to give the animals enough space and be willing to alter their plans to avoid interacting with an animal in close proximity.

For further information on park safety, please visit http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/safety.htm.

- www.nps.gov/yell -

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