YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (CBS SF) – A 72-year-old California woman has been hospitalized after being gored by a bison while visiting Yellowstone National Park last week.
According to park officials, the woman was injured while attempting to take the animal’s photo at Bridge Bay Campground on Thursday. The woman approached the bison within 10 feet multiple times, much closer than the recommended distance.
“The series of events that led to the goring suggest the bison was threatened by being repeatedly approached to within 10 feet,” Chris Geremia, the park’s senior bison biologist, said in a statement.
The woman was taken to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center via helicopter. Her name or her hometown has not been released. Park officials said the incident is under investigation.
Officials said bison have injured more people in Yellowstone than any other animal. The animals, which can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and are up to 6 feet tall, are unpredictable and can run three times faster than humans.
Geremia said that bison respond to threats by displaying aggressive behaviors like pawing the ground, snorting, bobbing their head, bellowing and raising their tail. The bison may charge if the threat doesn’t move away.
Park rangers urge visitors to stay more than 25 yards from bison and other large animals such as elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes. Meanwhile, visitors are urged to stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves.