Yellowstone Tourist Gored Multiple Times By A Bison After Getting Way Too Close

American Bison

Unsplash / Richard Lee

American Bison are straight-up enormous. A fully-grown bison can weigh up to 2,800-pounds and measure 11.5 feet long. Sure, getting close to a creature this powerful and beautiful would make for a memorable photograph but it’s also a horrible idea given that the bison can turn and demolish you with its horns in an instant.

A tourist at Yellowstone National Park learned this lesson the hard way after they were gored multiple times. They got too close for a photograph and ended up sustaining multiple gore wounds which required the victim to be flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for treatment.

These are wild animals. ENORMOUS wild animals. You shouldn’t get close to ANY wild animal. Even a squirrel can turn on you and ruin your day.

The Yellowstone National Park rules dictate that visitors must stay 25-yards away from bison but not everybody listens. There’s a slippery slope of one tourist seeing another get close to a bison for a photograph so they do it too and then others start doing it, lulling people into some false sense of security around these gargantuan creatures.

The Park published a news release yesterday about the incident:

  • After a 72-year-old woman from California approached within 10 feet of a bison multiple times to take its photo, the animal gored her.
  • The incident occurred on the evening of June 25, 2020, at the female’s campsite at Bridge Bay Campground.
  • Rangers provided immediate medical care to the woman who sustained multiple goring wounds. She was then flown via helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
  • “The series of events that led to the goring suggest the bison was threatened by being repeatedly approached to within 10 feet,” said Yellowstone’s Senior Bison Biologist Chris Geremia. “Bison are wild animals that respond to threats by displaying aggressive behaviors like pawing the ground, snorting, bobbing their head, bellowing, and raising their tail. If that doesn’t make the threat (in this instance it was a person) move away, a threatened bison may charge. To be safe around bison, stay at least 25 yards away, move away if they approach, and run away or find cover if they charge.”
  • This incident is under investigation. There is no additional information to share.

It’s not just bison that park visitors are required to stay 25-yards away from. This rule applies to all large animals in Yellowstone National Park (Bison, Elk, Moose, Bighorn Sheep, Deer, Coyotes) and they ask all visitors to stay at least 100-yards away from coyotes and wolves.

Bison attacks at Yellowstone National Park aren’t common but they also aren’t particularly rare. Last year, a 9-year-old girl was attacked by a bison in the park. Elsewhere, nine months ago a man who had survived being gored by a bison took a woman on a date who was… gored by a bison.

Maybe it’s a good idea to leave the bison alone for a while?