Moment 72-year-old camper creeps to within 10ft of a bison to take a photo in Yellowstone before she is gored and flung 15ft in the air
- California woman advanced to within 10ft of the bison at a Yellowstone campsite
- A nearby family watched in horror as she was knocked unconscious by the beast
- Park rangers warned that ‘aggressive’ bison will charge if they feel threatened
This is the moment an elderly California woman advanced to within 10ft of a bison in what proved a costly mistake as she was gored and flung 15ft in the air.
Footage of the encounter in Yellowstone National Park was taken by another family at the campsite, who watched in horror as the creature attacked the 72-year-old who was trying to take a photo.
The woman was left unconscious on the grass and was subsequently airlifted to hospital, but the bison did not damage any major organs.
Park rangers warned that visitors should keep 75ft (25 yards) away from the creatures because they are ‘wild animals’ that feel ‘threatened’ if they are approached.
Risky move: A woman advances to within 10ft of a bison – well short of the recommended 75ft – in an encounter which ended with her being gored and flung into the air
Jake Larsen, one of the campers who watched the bison attack unfold, told WCCO that ‘the lady got way too close’, adding: ‘She just kept provoking the bison.’
His sister Jenna said ‘it was just an accident waiting to happen’, recalling how she could ‘hear the bison making noises and blowing steam out’.
‘[The woman] got thrown initially maybe 10, 15 feet in the air across and she was unconscious briefly. She got up and it hit her again,’ said their mother Jodi.
Jodi, a nurse, went to help the woman with some blankets before she was airlifted to hospital with no memory of what had happened to her.
Park rangers said she was flown by helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, but she was later released after suffering only ‘gorge marks’.
‘The series of events that led to the goring suggest the bison was threatened by being repeatedly approached to within 10 feet,’ said 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.’
Footage of the encounter in Yellowstone National Park was taken by another family at the campsite, who watched in horror as the creature attacked the 72-year-old
A bison is pictured in Yellowstone National Park in March. Park rangers say that the creatures can become aggressive when they feel threatened
The California woman is not the first Yellowstone visitor to enrage a bison. In 2015, two people including a 62-year-old Australian were gored within three weeks.
The other victim was a 16-year-old girl from Taiwan who was hospitalized after being attacked as she posed for a picture near the animal.
In 2018, another California woman – 59-year-old Kim Hancock – was taken to a hospital with a hip injury after being gored by another bison.
And in May this year, a woman was knocked to the ground when she got too close to a bison near the popular Old Faithful geyser after the park partially re-opened.
A male American bison can weigh up to 2,000lbs and can run up to 40mph, experts say.
The latest incident is under investigation, park rangers said, warning that guests should keep away from wild animals in campsites and parking lots.
The 25-yard distance also applies to elk, deer, moose and coyotes while visitors should stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves, rangers say.
Bears have killed at least seven people in Yellowstone since the park was established in 1872.