Woman Gored After Approaching Bison at Yellowstone

Published by Elena Waldman.

The injury of a woman who approached a bison at Yellowstone National Park now serves as a cautionary tale about the dangerous consequences of not respecting wildlife.

While visiting Yellowstone on June 1, the 25-year-old got within 10 feet of a bison, despite explicit warning signs in the area instructing visitors to stay at least 75 feet away from all animals. The bison then impaled her and tossed her 10 feet into the air, according to reports. The woman was then taken to the hospital, reportedly having sustained a puncture wound and other injuries.

Facts About Bison

Like anyone else, bison may attack someone in self-defense when they feel threatened. The animals may socialize with others in their herd, but they do not want to interact with humans.

Like dogs, bison can indicate their mood with their tail. If a bison’s tail is down and swinging rhythmically, he or she is likely calm. But if the tail is standing straight up, be wary—the animal may be preparing to charge. It’s always best to keep your distance from bison.

Leave Wildlife Alone

National parks have rules for a reason: to protect the animals who live there as well as humans who are visiting. Getting too close to a bison—or any animal in their natural habitat—is extremely dangerous.

Some roadside zoos and other crummy facilities not only allow humans to interact with animals such as tigers or bears but encourage it. Animals at these hellholes are often forced into public encounters—despite instinctually avoiding humans—and can suffer from mental anguish and severe distress as a result. Animals have even lashed out and injured visitors. You can help animals suffering at roadside zoos by taking action below:

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind