by Victoria Bekiempis / The Guardian
A 71-year-old Pennsylvania woman was gored by a bison on Wednesday in Yellowstone National Park, in “the third reported bison and visitor incident” this year, officials said.
The woman, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, was transported to a hospital in Cody, Wyoming.
The woman and her daughter “inadvertently approached the bison as they were returning to their vehicle at the trailhead” near Storm Point at Yellowstone Lake, “causing the bull bison to charge”, the US National Park Service said.
Parks officials said: “This incident remains under investigation, and there is no additional information to share.”
On 27 June, a 34-year-old Colorado man was gored by a bull bison around Giant Geyser at Old Faithful, suffering an injured arm.
“The male was walking with his family on a boardwalk when a bull bison charged the group,” parks officials said. “Family members did not leave the area, and the bull bison continued to charge and gored the male.
A 25-year-old Ohio woman was gored on 30 May after nearing a bison “to within 10ft”. She suffered several injuries including a “puncture wound”, officials said.
Two other people were within 25 yards of the bison in the May incident. Park regulations say visitors must stay more than 25 yards away.
“As the bison walked near a boardwalk at Black Sand Basin (just north of Old Faithful), the female, on the boardwalk, approached it,” officials said. “Consequently, the bison gored the woman and tossed her 10ft into the air.
Authorities warn that “wildlife in Yellowstone national park are wild and can be dangerous when approached. When an animal is near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space.”
Officials advise that visitors keep more than 25 yards away from all large wildlife, including bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes. They warn that visitors stay a minimum of 100 yards from wolves and bears.
“If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity,” visitors are advised. “Bison are unpredictable and can run three times faster than humans.”