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Yellowstone Records First Bison Attack on a Human of 2018

Travis Smola

That didn't take long. The first Yellowstone bison attack of 2018 happened earlier this week, leaving a woman with minor injuries.

With spring finally here and summer rapidly approaching, the tourists are starting to flood back into the nation's first National Park again.

Yellowstone has just announced they've already had the first bison attack incident of the year. It happened Tuesday in the area of Old Faithful. The National Park Service says 72-year-old Idaho resident Virginia Junk was walking around a bend and didn't see the bison standing there until it was too late to react.

She was thrown off the trail after the massive animal "butted her in the thigh." Junk was taken to a hospital in Rexburg and treated for minor injuries.

This is the first human-bison incident of 2018. Last year was a fairly quiet year for the park with only one report of a bison attack. Recent years have seemed to show an uptick in attacks on tourists in the park as the number of visitors has also increased. In recent years, officials have given out warnings about taking selfies with large animals in response to increased reports of attacks.

Yellowstone officials are using this latest incident to remind visitors of the dangers of the park's wildlife.

"Animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be," their press release states. "When an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space. Always stay at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all other animals, including bison and elk. If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity."


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Yellowstone Records First Bison Attack on a Human of 2018