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Bison gores 83-year-old woman in Yellowstone National Park

An 83-year-old woman was seriously injured when she was gored by a bison in Yellowstone National Park over the weekend, the park announced Monday.

The park said the bison was “defending its space” when it gored the South Carolina woman near the Storm Point Trail, located at the north end of Yellowstone Lake. The bison “came within a few feet of the woman and lifted her about a foot off the ground with its horns,” the park said.

Emergency personnel first took the woman to nearby Lake Medical Clinic for treatment before she was airlifted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, said Yellowstone. The park had no specific information on his injuries or condition Monday evening.

The woman was not immediately identified.

The park noted that more people have been injured by bison in Yellowstone than by any other animal. The park also said it is visitors’ responsibility to keep their distance from wild animals, including staying at least 25 meters from large animals like bison and 100 meters from bears and wolves.

“Bison are not aggressive animals but defend their space when threatened. They are unpredictable and can run three times faster than humans,” warns the park.

In April, an Idaho man suffered minor injuries when he was attacked by a bison in Yellowstone after kicking it. He was later charged with being under the influence of alcohol, disorderly conduct, approaching wildlife and disturbing wildlife, the park said.

Last year, a A 47-year-old woman was gored by a bison not far from where the last incident occurred. In 2022, a 25 year old woman and one 34 year old man were gored by bison near Old Faithful within weeks of each other. A 71-year-old tourist from Pennsylvania was also attacked by a bison in June 2022.

Bison are the largest mammals in North America, according to the Department of the Interior, and males can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. Their mating season runs from mid-July to mid-August, during which time they may become agitated more quickly than at other times of the year, according to park officials.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, tens of millions of bison once roamed North America, but they nearly disappeared during the westward expansion of the United States in the 19th century. At one point, their numbers dwindled to just a few hundred.

As of last August, according to the USFWS, there were approximately 420,000 bison in commercial herds, and another 20,500 in conservation herds in the United States.

— Aliza Chasan and Adam Yamaguchi contributed reporting.

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