Bison Kills Visitor after Encounter in Yellowstone

Bison Kills Visitor after Encounter in Yellowstone
Bison crossing a tourist path with people in the background in Yellowstone National Park. | Image by Melissa Kopka

A woman from Ohio was killed by a bison at Yellowstone National Park on Memorial Day, according to the park.

On May 30, the 25-year-old unidentified visitor died from a severe puncture wound and other injuries caused by the bison as it charged at the woman and tossed her 10 feet in the air.

As the bison was walking close to the boardwalk near the Black Sand Basin, the woman came within 10 feet of the animal. Two other people were within 25 yards of the bison as well but were left uninjured.

Park emergency medical providers rendered aid to the woman before taking her to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, where she succumbed to her injuries.

There is no additional information to provide as the investigation is ongoing.

The park stated the incident was the first reported for 2022 of a visitor threatening a bison (coming too close to the animal), and it responding by goring the individual.

Yellowstone National Park’s animals are wild and can be harmful if confronted. The park suggests giving the animal space if it is near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or other constructed area. 

Keep at least 100 yards (91 meters) away from bears and wolves and more than 25 yards (23 meters) away from bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes. Turn around and go the other way if necessary to avoid coming into contact with a wild animal in close proximity.

This occurrence is similar to one that unfolded last summer when a 30-year-old woman approached a bison not far from the Yellowstone Lake hiking trails.

Linda Veress, a public information specialist with Yellowstone National Park, said the park was unsure how the woman came in contact with the bison.

The victim suffered severe injuries and was airlifted to a hospital.

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