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‘A threatened bison may charge’: California woman gored at Yellowstone National Park while trying to get a photo

, USA TODAY
Published 10:30 p.m. ET June 29, 2020

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A giant bison rammed into a family’s rental car during a stampede in Yellowstone National Park.

USA TODAY

A California woman was gored by a bison at Yellowstone National Park after approaching too closely to try to take a photo, the second incident in less than six weeks between a visitor and one of the park’s iconic hulking animals.

The 72-year-old woman received immediate medical care from rangers before being flown via helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, according to a news release Monday from the National Park Service. She was injured on June 25 at her Bridge Bay Campground campsite.

“The series of events that led to the goring suggest the bison was threatened by being repeatedly approached to within 10 feet,” Yellowstone’s Senior Bison Biologist Chris Geremia said in a statement. “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.”

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He added, “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 is under investigation, the NPS said.

Another Yellowstone visitor was injured by a bison on May 20, when she was “knocked to the ground” and injured after approaching the animal too closely in the Old Faithful Upper Geyser Basin, according to officials.

It was the first injury incident of the 2020 season, which was disrupted by a nearly two-month closure because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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It wasn’t the first incident of the year, though.

In March, Deion Broxton, a reporter for NBC Montana, was interrupted by a herd of bison while on the job. The video of his encounter gained national attention — his declaration of “Oh no, I ain’t messing with you” delighted social media — and Yellowstone even produced a safety poster commemorating the moment.

The park called Broxton’s response a “perfect example of what to do when approached by wildlife.”

Contributing: Jordan Culver, USA TODAY

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