Dangerous Bison Encounter Prompts Warnings To Give Wildlife Space

May 3, 2018

Credit Daniel Mayer Via CC BY-SA 3.0

After an encounter with a bison left a visitor with minor injuries, Yellowstone National Park officials are cautioning tourists to give wild animals in the park lots of space.

The incident occurred when a woman in the Old Faithful area rounded a bend in a trail and came upon a bison. The animal dropped its head and pushed her off the trail. She was later treated for minor injuries at an Idaho hospital.

Neal Herbert, a spokesman for Yellowstone, said that although some of these animals may look peaceful and tame, it’s important to give them space.

“It’s very tempting when bison or elk are just grazing in a meadow, they don’t appear dangerous. They don’t appear like they’re going to suddenly lift their heads and attack or charge, but occasionally they do. Animals in Yellowstone are wild. They’re unpredictable,” he said.

Herbert cautions staying at least 25 yards away from bison, elk, and other wildlife at all times. For bears and wolves, a 100-yard distance is required.

“Yellowstone is one of the few places in North America where people share an open landscape with thousands of large mammals. And with that ability, with that privilege to come here and do that, there is a responsibility of keeping safe distances and learning kind of how to move through the landscape,” said Herbert.