Bison in Yellowstone National Park Charges Group, Flips and Injures 9-Year-Old Girl
The unidentified girl, from Odessa, Florida, was treated at a nearby clinic and has since been released.
On Monday, a bison at Yellowstone National Park charged at a group of 50 visitors, flipping and injuring a 9-year-old girl in the process.
According to a National Park Service (NPS) press release, the incident occurred “near Observation Point Trail in the Old Faithful Geyser area.”
Witnesses to the incident reported that “a group of approximately 50 people were within 5-10 feet of the bison for at least 20 minutes before eventually causing the bison to charge the group,” the release continues.
During the charge, a 9-year-old girl from, Odessa, Florida, who has not been identified, was “tossed into the air” by the bull bison and injured.
The child was treated by Yellowstone’s emergency medical team, and was later taken to the Old Faithful Clinic for treatment. She has since been released from the clinic, the release states.
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“No citations have been issued. The incident is still under investigation,” NPS added.
In response to this incident, NPS is once again reminding park visitors of the best way to safely handle animal sightings at national parks.
“When an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space. Stay 25 yards (23 m) away from all large animals – bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes and at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves. If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity,” the NPS advises.
According to NBC News, this recent incident was caught on camera. Hailey Dayton, an 18-year-old visiting Yellowstone as part of a family road trip, filmed the girl being tossed into the air by the bison.
“My brother and I were looking at the hot springs, and we saw a bunch of people running down the path to the bridge. We saw through the trees some people petting the bison, super close,” Dayton told the outlet, adding that the animal appeared to charge after getting agitated by the group of onlookers.
This is far from the first time there has been a clash between humans and Yellowstone bison. In August 2018, a man was sentenced to 130 days in jail for taunting a bison at the park. The modern tourist’s need for selfies, including those with wild animals, has also created problems for national parks across the country.