Bison Incident Leads To Substantial Injuries At Yellowstone

Ladies and gentlemen, gather around for a startling and educational tale straight from Yellowstone National Park. This past Saturday, an 83-year-old woman from Greenville, South Carolina, had a terrifying encounter with one of the park’s majestic but mighty inhabitants—a bison.

Now, bison are magnificent creatures, but they are also wild animals with instincts to protect their space. According to the National Park Service (NPS), the woman got too close to the bison, which responded by goring her. Emergency responders quickly transported her to a local clinic, and from there, she was flown by helicopter to an Idaho hospital. The doctors have reported that she sustained serious injuries.

The NPS explained that the bison, feeling threatened, lifted the woman about a foot off the ground with its powerful horns. The incident is currently under investigation, but it serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of getting too close to wildlife.

Did you know that bison injure more people in Yellowstone than any other animal? These impressive creatures can seem docile, but they are unpredictable and can run up to three times faster than humans. Park rules are clear: visitors must keep a safe distance of at least 25 yards from large animals like bison, elk, and moose. For more dangerous predators like bears and wolves, that distance increases to 100 yards.

Folks, it’s essential to respect these rules to ensure your safety and the safety of the animals. If you find yourself too close to wildlife, the best course of action is to move away calmly and quietly.

Bison, the largest land mammals in North America, can weigh up to 2 tons and reach speeds of 35 mph. They are particularly territorial during the spring, which is also calving season. This means both males and females can be more aggressive—males due to frisky territorial behavior and females because they’re protecting their young.

Yellowstone is home to one of the most important wild bison populations in the United States. The park’s vast plains, such as the Lamar Valley, can host thousands of these animals at any given time. Unlike many other places, Yellowstone doesn’t have fences around these grazing areas, allowing the bison to roam freely as they have for centuries.

Bison have been part of North America’s landscape for about 300,000 years, but their numbers plummeted in the 1800s due to overhunting and the westward expansion of settlers.

From an estimated 30 million bison, their population dwindled to just two dozen. Thankfully, efforts to re-establish the bison population in Yellowstone have been successful, and today their numbers fluctuate between 2,300 and 5,500.

This incident is a sobering reminder of the power and unpredictability of wildlife. So, next time you visit a national park, remember to keep a safe distance and respect the space of these incredible creatures. Stay safe, and enjoy the natural beauty responsibly!

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