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Visitor knocked to the ground after getting too close to a bison in Yellowstone National Park

Posted at 6:03 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 20:12:29-04

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:

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.