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Bison Gores Woman In Yellowstone, Severely Injures Another Near Badlands

It's unclear exactly what prompted the bison to charge, but the woman was hospitalized from the attack.

There's something in the bison's watering hole: Earlier this week, a bison injured a Minnesota woman in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, sending her to the hospital for significant injuries to her abdomen and foot. A few days later, a different woman visiting Yellowstone National Park was gored by a bison and hospitalized.

There were nearly no details about what happened in North Dakota, and only a few more out about the incident in Yellowstone. But the National Park Service said the unidentified 47-year-old woman from Phoenix, Arizona, was walking with another person near the Lake Lodge Cabins, on the north shore of Lake Yellowstone, when they saw two bison.

The visitors turned around and were walking away from the bison when one of the animals charged at them and gored the woman.

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In a statement, the NPS said that the woman "sustained significant injuries to her chest and abdomen and was transported by helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center."

It is unknown how close the visitors were to the bison when it charged, or if there were any warning signs beforehand. But we do know that the NPS recommends staying at least 25 yards away from buffalo. Moreover, we've just entered mating season when bison can become agitated more quickly, which could explain why we're seeing two physical injuries from bison in the span of just a few days.

The NPS is continuing to investigate both incidents, and no further information was available about either incident or either women's condition.

This is the first reported incident of 2023 in which a bison has actually gotten physical with a visitor in Yellowstone; the last was on June 28, 2022.

But there have been many run-ins between Yellowstone's bisons and tourists already this year: We've seen bison charge tourists who tried to pet them; and, just last week, a man was trapped in a park restroom while a bison casually grazed outside.

In one unfortunate incident, a bison calf had to be euthanized after a man helped push it up a riverbank. The baby bison was unable to be reunited with its herd afterward and was approaching cars and people. The NPS euthanized the calf when it became apparent that it had been abandoned by the herd and was unable to care for itself.

The NPS has a webpage that warns visitors of the dangers of wildlife within the park. It has a few simple rules to protect visitors, including staying at least 25 yards from bison and never feeding wildlife.

While somewhat habituated to people, Yellowstone's bison are still unpredictable, and the carelessness of tourists has led to more than one goring in the national park.

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