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Woman injured by bison in Yellowstone National Park flown to hospital

Woman injured by bison in Yellowstone National Park flown to hospital

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A 30-year-old woman on a mid-afternoon hike in Yellowstone National Park on Sunday was injured during what park officials are describing as an "encounter" with a bison. 

Her injuries were "significant," and the woman was flown to a hospital for treatment, according to Linda Veress, a public information specialist with Yellowstone National Park.

Details about the incident remained limited Monday. Veress said the woman had been hiking with a companion near Storm Point Trail. The trailhead is located on the northern end of Yellowstone Lake.

"We're not clear how the encounter with the bison occurred," Veress said by email. The woman was flown to Eastern Idaho Medical Center in Idaho Falls.

Veress said the park did not have any other information on the encounter at the time of her email and that the park did not have photos or videos of the encounter.

Veress reiterated park safety recommendation involving wildlife, writing that when an animal is near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area people should give it space. The recommendation is that people stay more than 25 yards away from all large animals including bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves. People are further advised to turn around and go the other way to avoid a close proximity interaction with a wild animal. 

Bison account for more injuries to Yellowstone tourists than any other animal in the park. More often than not, it’s the human’s fault for getting too close. In late June 2020, a 72-year-old California woman was gored several times by a bison after getting too close. She was injured the day after the park opened. In May, another woman was knocked to the ground by a bison. Last summer a 9-year-old girl was injured after being tossed into the air by a bison.

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report that said since 1980 “bison have injured more pedestrian visitors to Yellowstone National Park than any other animal.” That was especially true between 1983 and 1985 when 33 bison-related injuries were documented in the park.

Two grizzly bears run near a bison herd in Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park is testing a new driverless, electric shuttle system during the 2021 summer. The two shuttles, which can be found in the park's Canyon Village area, could provide a look at the future of park transportation.


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