A bison at Yellowstone National Park gored a 72-year-old visitor that advanced within 10 feet, flinging her 15 feet in the air. A family visiting the park captured the shocking footage on video.
The encounter left the California woman unconscious on the grass. Authorities airlifted the woman to the hospital. However, the bison did not damage any of the woman’s major organs, according to Daily Mail.
An Anoka County family witnessed the frightening scene. The Larsen family shared the story behind the incident. Jake Larsen says the woman came “way too close.” Moreover, he says, “She just kept provoking the bison.”
Jodie Larsen explains that the bison gored the woman tossing her high in the air before striking her again. “[The woman] got thrown initially maybe 10, 15 feet in the air across and she was unconscious briefly,” Jodi said. “She got up and it hit her again.”
The Larsen family says Yellowstone places ample signage around the park warning visitors not to approach wildlife. “If you don’t bug them they’re not going to bug you,” Jenna Larsen said. “Especially when you go camping, that’s their home and we’re kind of the invaders. That’s where they live and people need to be respectful of that.”
A Biologists’ Take on the Bison Encounter at Yellowstone
Biologist Chris Geremia addressed the incident. Geremia says the bison considered the woman a threat. “The series of events that led to the goring suggest the bison was threatened by being repeatedly approached to within 10 feet,” Geremia said.
Furthermore, Geremia says, “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.”
Geremia continued by instructing people to stay 25 yards away from bison. “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.”