Yellowstone’s fifth bison injury of the season has officials reminding public of dangers of park’s wildlife.
The incident involved a 43-year-old woman from Mississippi, who was tossed by a bison near the Fairy Falls trailhead in the park on Tuesday. The woman and her daughter were only six yards away from the large animal when it charged.
According to the Billings Gazette, they had turned their backs on the animal so they could have their photo taken with it. By the time someone warned them they were too close, it was too late. The daughter was not hit, but the bison managed to toss the woman.
Fortunately, she walked away with only minor injuries in the incident after the woman’s father ran in to cover her body to protect her. She was taken to Old Faithful Clinic where she was treated and released.
Old Faithful district ranger Colleen Rawlings used the incident to reiterate the dangers of the park wildlife. She said the family had read the numerous warning signs in the park. Rawlings says they thought getting closer was okay after they saw other people getting close to the bison.
“People need to recognize that Yellowstone wildlife is wild, even though they seem docile,” Rawlings said. “This woman was lucky that her injuries were not more severe.”
The National Park Service website underscores the wild nature of the animals on a safety page on its website, noting that bison are unpredictable and can sprint three times faster than humans.
Signs are posted all around the park warning visitors to stay 100 yards away from bears and wolves and 25 yards away from bison and other large mammals.