Yellowstone Bison Attack
Travis Smola

First Yellowstone Bison Attack of the Year Reported Only Two Days After Park Re-Opens

Yellowstone sees first wildlife incident of the year only two days after re-opening.

Well, that did not take long. Yellowstone National Park finally re-opened to visitors for the season after having been shut due to concerns about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

It only took two days for one of the first visitors of the year to be attacked by one of the park's many bison. In a press release on their Facebook page, the park said a female visitor approached under the recommended 25-yard distance on Wednesday, May 20. She was subsequently injured after being knocked to the ground by the massive beast.

The press release states that emergency medical personnel quickly arrived on scene, but the woman refused transport to a hospital for further evaluation. The park did not detail her injuries any further, but they did reveal that they are investigating the incident further.

Yellowstone has long been known for tourist injuries due to encounters with wildlife or mishaps involving the park's many thermal features. The bison attack happened in the Old Faithful Upper Geyser Basin area marking the second tourist incident to happen near the world famous geyser and thermal area already this year. The other incident involved a woman who decided to sneak into the park illegally when it was still closed on May 12. She ended up falling into a spring or other thermal feature while taking photos.

That woman had to be flown to a special burn ward in Idaho for treatment of her injuries. Yellowstone advises all visitors to stay on marked trails boardwalks and at least 25 yards away from all large mammals like bison elk, deer, moose and bighorn sheep. Many attacks in the past have been the result of people trying to get selfies with animals and wandering too close.

They also advise staying 100 yards away from more dangerous large predators like wolves and bears. Most incidents involving animals in the park seem to happen when people disregard these guidelines. It happens even though most areas have numerous signs warning of the dangerous of approaching the animals, especially the bison which appear docile, but can quickly gore or trample any human that gets too close.

Yellowstone tends to make statements every time an incident like this to spread awareness about the dangers presented by the park's wildlife. We will see if that helps stem any further incidents as the busy summer tourist season gets underway.

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