“Park staff would like to remind visitors that bison are large, powerful, and wild. They can turn quickly and can easily outrun humans.”
By Michael Cappetta
The National Park Service (NPS) is advising visitors to proceed with extra caution as two people were recently injured after interactions with wild bison at both Yellowstone National Park, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
On Monday, a woman from Arizona was charged and gored by a bison at Yellowstone National Park.
“The female was walking with another individual in a field in front of the Lake Lodge when they saw two bison,” the NPS explained of the incident in a release the NPS shared. “Upon seeing them, the visitors turned to walk away from the bison. One of the bison charged and gored the woman.”
A few days earlier, on Saturday July 15, a Minnesota woman sustained “significant injuries” in the abdomen and foot after an interaction in Roosevelt National Park. The woman, who was last reported to be in serious but stable, condition was treated by Park Rangers and the local Sheriff on the scene before being transported to two different hospitals.
“Park staff send their sincere well wishes to her and her family as she continues to receive care and recover,” the National Park Service said in a statement about the incident.
Both of the cases are still under investigation, and the NPS has not provided updates on the condition of either guest.
“Park staff would like to remind visitors that bison are large, powerful, and wild. They can turn quickly and can easily outrun humans. Bulls can be aggressive during the rutting season, mid-July through August,” a NPS spokesperson said after the July 15 incident.
Although rare, tragic accidents with bison have been reported over the last several years. During the summer of 2022, a 34-year-old man from Colorado was also gored by a bull bison near Old Faithful, according to a release from NPS.
The NPS reminds visitors to never approach wildlife.
“The animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be. The safest (and often best) view of wildlife is from inside a car,” the NPS shares on their safety website.
The safety tips also include maintaining a 300 foot distance from bears and wolves, and at least a 75 foot distance from all other animals.
For visitors who come in close contact with a bison to the point the animal stops and acknowledges a person, Utah’s Division of Wildlife Services advises people to slowly back away.
Yellowstone National Park has hosted over 1.4 million recreational visitors so far in 2023, which is 19% higher than the same period last year, according to park data.