A woman was gored by a bison after she turned around to walk away from it in Yellowstone National Park, officials said.
It was the first goring reported in 2023, Yellowstone officials said in a news release. The last reported incident was June 28, 2022.
The 47-year-old woman from Phoenix was walking with another person in a field in front of the Lake Lodge near Yellowstone Lake when they saw two bison, officials said. They turned to walk away, and one of the bison charged and gored the woman.
(Heads Up) A 47-year-old female from Phoenix, Arizona, was gored by a bison near the Lake Lodge Cabins on the north shore of Lake Yellowstone the morning of July 17. Always stay more than 25 yards (23 m) away from bison. Learn more: https://t.co/kHRzixzwBx pic.twitter.com/gGJhRVznsS
— Yellowstone National Park (@YellowstoneNPS) July 17, 2023
Officials aren’t sure how close they were to the bison when it charged. The woman’s chest and abdomen were seriously injured, and she was flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, officials said. Park rangers did not disclose her condition.
Officials warned that animals in the park are unpredictable and dangerous to approach.
“When an animal is near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space,” officials said. “Stay more than 25 yards away from all large animals — bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes — and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves. If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in proximity.”
Bison can become agitated more quickly during the mating season, known as the rut, from mid-July to mid-August, officials said. It’s important to be more cautious and give them more space during the rut.
What to know about bison
Multiple people have been injured by bison.
In 2022, a 25-year-old woman was gored by a bison and tossed 10 feet into the air at Yellowstone National Park, rangers said. The woman had walked toward the bison on a boardwalk near the Old Faithful geyser and came within 10 feet.
A 34-year-old Colorado man was also gored by a bison while walking near Old Faithful with family when the animal charged toward them, according to park officials.
“Bison have injured more people in Yellowstone than any other animal,” park rangers said. “They are unpredictable and can run three times faster than humans.”
Bison are huge animals that can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and run up to 30 mph, according to the park. Stay at least 75 feet away from bison at all times.