There’s good news in the case of the 41-year-old woman from Mississippi who was gored by a bison last Tuesday, July 21 at Yellowstone National Park, but Park Information Officer Amy Bartlett says that has not been the case for the other four individuals that have been attacked by bison this year.

"She actually was extremely lucky that she wasn't punctured," Bartlett said. "They actually were able to self-transport to the Old Faithful Clinic and were treated and released with minor injuries that same day. Unfortunately, the other four have all resulted in life-flights and advanced medical care. They are all out of the hospital now, but some of them had to have surgery and the all had hospital stays."

Bartlett has confirmed that the Mississippi woman was charged while trying to take a “selfie” with the bison. In fact, photography plays a role in most of the attacks.

"Three of the encounters were because of pictures, but only one, this latest one, was because of a "selfie," Bartlett said. "One of them was getting her picture taken with a bison, so she turned her back to the bison, and another man was trying to take a picture of the bison. The other two bison injuries were caused by people getting too close to bison while walking on trails. One man got too close to a bison while hiking at night and couldn't see the animal. Another woman kept walking on a trail even though a bison was near the trail, because she thought it would be best to stay on the trail."

Bartlett says the most important factor in all of the bison attacks was distance. The park requires visitors to stay 25 yards away from the animals, but people are just getting too close for safety. The woman attacked last Tuesday was standing only six yards away from the bison while trying to take a selfie with her daughter.


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