Bison in Yellowstone

Yellowstone Bison Tosses Woman 10 feet in the Air in Deadly Encounter

A woman got too close to a bison and Yellowstone and the animal charged and impaled her, tossing her ten feet in the air she was rushed to hospital, and died from her injuries, as park officials warn visitors to keep distance.

Woman has deadly encounter with bison at Yellowstone

A woman had a deadly encounter with the bison in Yellowstone National Park after she got too close and the animal charged, goring her, tossing her ten feet into the air, park officials said on Tuesday.

The bison came close to a boardwalk at Black Sand Basin, near Old Faithful geyser, where the unidentified woman and two other people came close to the animal. When the woman came within 10 feet of the bison, it impaled her and “tossed her” ten feet in the air, the park said, NBC reported.

Park emergency medical providers responded and the 25-year-old woman was from Ohio and was rushed by ambulance to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, according to a press release, USA Today reported.

“The woman sustained a puncture wound and other injuries,” the National Park Service said in a statement. The woman died from her injuries and it was not clear where she died.

Visitors are required to keep 25-100 yards from animals

Park regulations require that visitors must remain over 25 yards from bison, elk, bighorn sheep and moose, and at least 100 yards from bears and wolves.

Bison attack more people than any other Yellowstone animals

“Bison have injured more people in Yellowstone than any other animal,” officials said in the news release, CNN reported. “They are unpredictable and can run three times faster than humans.”

In recent years, several encounters with bison have happened, some of which have been captured on social media, Today reported. One incident occurred in June 2020, when a 72-year-old California woman got too close while attempting to take photos of a bison and was gored. A month later, another woman tripped and fell as a bison came running toward her in the Wyoming portion of Yellowstone. She played it dead to avoid an attack.

Bison and Buffalo: Different animals

People often interchangeably use the words buffalo and bison, and though the two are in the Bovidae family, they are not closely related and are distinctly different animals, according to the Smithsonian.

Despite the lyrics of “Home on the Range,” buffalo never roamed the American West. Bison did.

“True” old-world Buffalo such as Cape Buffalo and water buffalo are native to Africa and Asia. Bison are found in Europe and North America.

Key differences between Buffalo and bison

Bison have some distinct characteristics that differentiate them from Buffalo. The most distinctive feature is the large humps at their shoulders and beards. They also have larger heads than Buffalo and thick coats, which are shed in the spring and early summer. Another difference is the shape of their horns. Buffalo horns resemble a handlebar mustache that curled down, then back up. Bison’s have sharper and shorter horns than those of the average Buffalo.

American bison were once endangered, and although they have recovered, they are still near the threshold of threatened status and depend heavily on conservation efforts for survival.