Elderly Woman Severely Injured After Being Gored by Bison She Was Taking Pictures of in Yellowstone National Park

Elderly Woman Severely Injured After Being Gored by Bison She Was Taking Pictures of in Yellowstone National Park

A 72-year-old woman was gored multiple times by a bison in Yellowstone National Park after attempting to take photos of the animal. 

The incident happened on June 25 near Bridge Bay Campground in the northwest Wyoming section of the national park. The unidentified woman got within 10 feet of the animal several times before it charged her and gored her multiple times. She was treated by park rangers on the scene initially but was eventually flown to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for more comprehensive treatment of her injuries. 

The park's senior bison biologist, Chris Geremia, said: "The series of events that led to the goring suggest the bison was threatened by being repeatedly approached to within 10 feet." He added that bison will display a variety of agitated behavior to communicate their anger before charging. Park visitors are required to stay at least 25 yards away from all large animals (100 yards from bears and wolves), meaning the woman was violating the park regulations rather significantly by getting so close to the bison. Her current condition is unknown.

Such run-ins with animals are well known at Yellowstone, which takes safety precautions very seriously. Hopefully, the woman will recover from her injuries. 

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23 Comments

August Miller's picture

Every year people forget that these are "wild" animals in their natural habitat, not at your local petting zoo. And every year people get injured. A number of years ago I was at Yellowstone with a friend from Paris, France who had never been someplace like the park and we came upon a scene of multiple people taking photos of a bison. I told him, let's just keep watching from a distance as it won't be long until the bison gets agitated and lashes out. Sure enough in about 10 minutes or so It charged several people who had gotten too close sending one of them and their very expensive video camera flying through the air. The bison didn't really run at them but simply just butted against them to tell them they had gotten too close. The group scattered and ran for their cars and the buffalo (which is what us locals call them) just went back to eating his grass. My friend from France was shocked at the stupidity of those that got too close. Bottom line is the park has rules for a reason. It's good advice to follow them.

Spy Black's picture

Every year people forget that we are "wild" animals...

Tommy Lyles's picture

"...got within 10 feet of the animal several times" - not wise.

Kurt Hummel's picture

She was probably told she didn’t need a real camera her cell phone is just as good or better than a dslr, now she knows why wildlife photographers use 600mm.

Spy Black's picture

...but damn those iPhone pics look great...

VINICIUS YUZO ZUCARELI's picture

If it doesn't already exist, someone should open a selling / renting of telephoto lenses and cameras near the entrance

dean wilson's picture

...and sell seminars on "How to Use a DSLR and Different than a Cell Phone for Photography."

Tony Clark's picture

It's hard to muster any compassion for someone that shoots themselves in the foot. Did she think that it was a cow?

Jan Holler's picture

A cow? You better stay away from cows as well. We get several injured (gored or tramped on) people here in Switzerland every year who got too close to, what we call, a "mother cow" (aka suckler cow). Those people go up the mountains and get close to the animals which simply want to protect their calves. Sure, most of them are peaceful, but you better do not rely on it unless you know the animals behaviour. Getting as close as 3 feet is simply stupid and ignorant.
Check out: https://swissfamilyfun.com/hiking-safely-with-cows/ (in English).

Spy Black's picture

That's gotta be embarrassing. "...hey Joe, WTF happened to you""... "I got my ass kicked by a cow..."

Jason Frels's picture

I watched some young woman go chasing after some bear cubs to get a picture I suppose when I was there last year. Mother bear was not far away and everyone was screaming at this fool to turn around, which she finally did with a stupid grin on her face. She's lucky it was just a black bear and not a grizzly. I thought I was going to see a mauling. Also, lots of people harassing the bison of course. Those things are just too big to mess with.
Telephoto lens solves most of these problems.

Spy Black's picture

Hopefully you had your telephoto at the ready if the bear did maul her, right? Don't you just hate it when the bear doesn't give a shit?...

David Love's picture

Question is, how did her iphone take the beating? I see an add there somewhere.

Bradley Occhipinti's picture

Let's hope she makes a full recovery.

Spy Black's picture

...so we can laugh at her...

Wolfgang Post's picture

I witnessed people in the parks here trying to get close shots of the wild boars living there (they come out after the rain). Same stupidity .. luckily there were no sucklings around. Although sad for the individual, it seems to need accidents for people to learn. But then, the calls for culling the boars come out ... weird people.

Ken Hilts's picture

Natural selection at work.

Gregory Scott's picture

My dad was in Alaska, and heard tourists call an adult Kodiak bear "cute". He was incensed, and told her angrily that they are not cute, they are monsters. I've seen people harass bighorn sheep in a national park by approaching them illegally close. I've seen people harass elk at the lodge at the canyon rim at the grand canyon. This happens all the time. I've seen people approach bear cubs at Smokey Mountain National Park. People think that wild animals are in a petting zoo.

Kurt Hummel's picture

Bears are not monsters.

Gregory Scott's picture

Say that in a friendly way to a mama bear defending her cubs. I'm sure that she will listen politely.

Kurt Hummel's picture

Mothers in every species will defend their kids. Try going to a shopping mall and taking a little kid, it’s mother will attack you and defend her child so is she a monster also.

Przemek Lodej's picture

If you choose to be stupid you get zero compassion from me.