After Fourth Wildlife-Caused Injury This Year, Yellowstone Stresses Animals Are Wild

Jun 7, 2018

A woman was attacked by a bull bison in Yellowstone National Park this week, in what is the fourth wildlife-caused injury reported there in just a little over a month.

The woman was part of a crowd of observers. According to the park, as the crowd got as close as ten yards to the bison, the bull became agitated and charged. The 59-year-old California woman was transported to the Big Sky Medical Center in Montana in good condition, but with a hip injury.

Jake Frank, a spokesperson for Yellowstone National Park, warned even if a bison doesn't feel threatened by you, if you get close and it bumps you, that’s going to hurt.

“When a 2,000-pound animal bumps you, it's going to hurt you. Maybe it's not trying to actively hurt you, but by nudging you it can cause injury,” Frank said.  

This is the second incident of a bison injuring a person in Yellowstone in 2018. Frank said the park can’t say with certainty if the number of wildlife injuries has necessarily gone up or down in recent years.

“I think we're more probably, definitely more aware of it. Specifically, because we have people who take photos of other people getting too close and they’ll send those pictures and say, ‘hey, we saw this.’  Whether it's happening more often or whether we’re just aware of it happening more often…I don’t know if we can say one way or the other,” he said.  

The park stresses animals are wild, no matter how calm they appear, and it’s advised to stay 25 yards away from all animals and 100 yards away from bears and wolves.