Bison gores Yellowstone tourist in the chest after she turns to walk away, rangers say

( – Officials in Yellowstone National Park say a Bison gored a woman on July 17 as she walked away from the animal. It is the first such incident in almost a year. The woman, from Phoenix, was walking with a friend near Yellowstone Lake when they encountered two of the powerful beasts.

The pair did not approach the animals but immediately turned away to leave the area – the Bison charged regardless and caused serious injury to the unnamed woman’s chest and abdomen. She was taken to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center but her condition is unknown.

Such instances are relatively rare in the park, but two occurred last year. Park rangers warn that Bison are impulsive and visitors should stay at least 75 feet away from the enormous creatures. “When an animal is near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space,” officials say. Rangers also warn that Bison is the most unpredictable of Yellowstone’s residents, they have injured more people than any other animal, and they can run three times faster than humans.

The last Bison attack at Yellowstone occurred last summer when a woman from Ohio was tossed ten feet into the air as she walked toward the animal near the Old Faithful geyser. The year before, also in June, another woman suffered serious injury when a Bison charged at her.

The National Park Service says that despite constant warnings to stay away from animals in the park, visitors continue to “treat it like a zoo.” Examples include people attempting to take photos with the beasts or petting them. On one occasion, a man even pushed a calf into a riverbank.

The Service issues guidelines on what to do if a Bison is near and the warning signs the animal gives off when agitated. The guidance states that people should not get too close and should not attempt to frighten the animal away. Its warnings will include snorting and foot stomping.

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