Traci Weaver/Amy Bartlett
A 62-year-old Australian man sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries after an encounter with a bison near Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone National Park around 11 a.m. today.
According to witness reports, several people were crowding a bison that was lying on the grass near an asphalt path, when the man approached the bison while taking pictures with an electronic notepad. He got to within 3 to 5 feet from the bison when it charged him, tossing him into the air several times.
When responding rangers arrived on scene, the bison was approximately 100 yards from the victim. The victim was transported to a ground ambulance 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. When an animal is near a trail or boardwalk, visitors should still give it a wide berth, not approaching closer than the recommended safe distances: 25 yards (23 m) away from all large animals - bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes and at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves.
Bison can sprint three times faster than humans can run and are unpredictable and dangerous. Visitors are advised to always give the animals enough space, even if that means altering their plans to avoid crowding the animal.
For further information on park safety, please visit https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/safety.htm.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.
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Last updated: June 2, 2015