Bison gores Yellowstone visitor in second encounter in days

For the second time in days, a bison gored a visitor at Yellowstone National Park, park officials said.

The 71-year-old woman from West Chester, Pennsylvania, suffered injuries that were not life-threatening in the encounter Wednesday, the park said in a statement.

She and her daughter were returning to their vehicle at a trailhead when they inadvertently approached bison, and a bull bison charged her, the officials said.

It was the third time a bison has attacked a visitor at Yellowstone this year and the second time this week.

On May 30, an Ohio woman was thrown 10 feet after, officials say, she approached a bison that was near a boardwalk.

On Monday, a Colorado man was gored by a bull bison, also near a boardwalk. In that case, the man was with family members when the bison charged, and they did not leave right away as park staff members recommend, park officials said.

Video appeared to show the man grab a child to move it out of the animal’s path before he was struck. The man, 34, suffered an injury to his arm, the park said at the time.

Visitors are warned to give bison, as well as other wildlife, space — even if the animals are near parking lots or other developed areas. “If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity,” the park said Thursday. 

The two most recent encounters both involved bulls, or male, bison, park officials said. Bull bison can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and stand 6 feet tall.

The two most recent encounters occurred after Yellowstone reopened part of the park to visitors following severe flooding, most seriously in the northern section, earlier this month.

The park closed to all visitors on June 13. The flood and the mudslides washed out roads and caused other damage, and they also affected the “gateway communities” and the businesses that depend on travelers to the park.

The south loop reopened with some restrictions on June 22, and Yellowstone said Thursday it expects to reopen the north loop Sunday.

“We have attempted to balance major recovery efforts while reopening as much of the park as possible,” Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly said in a statement.

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