GREAT FALLS — A woman got too close to a bison and was knocked to the ground by the animal in Yellowstone National Park.
It happened on Wednesday afternoon, according to a news release from park officials.
Park officials say the woman approached the bison in the Old Faithful Upper Geyser Basin; she reportedly got within 25 yards of the bison, and it knocked her to the ground.
Park emergency medical providers responded to the incident; the woman was assessed and declined transport to a medical facility.
Park officials are continuing to investigate the incident.
This is the first incident of a bison injuring a visitor in 2020; the park just re-opened on Monday after a weeks-long COVID-19 closure.
Several recent incidents involving visitors and wildlife at Yellowstone:
- In July 2019, a group of about 50 people got too close to a bison, which then charged and knocked a 9-year-old girl into the air. Click here for details and video.
- A visitor to Yellowstone recorded in May of 2019 a small dog running around and barking at two bison .
- In July of 2018, a man was caught on camera taunting a bison on a road in Hayden Valley. He was later sentenced to 130 days in jail by a federal judge in Wyoming.
- In September of 2018, a man was knocked down by an elk while standing on the side of the road. He was not injured.
Park officials says that animals in Yellowstone National Park are wild. When an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, visitors must give it space. Stay 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.
Bison are the largest mammal in North America. Males can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and stand up to six feet tall, according to the Department of Interior.