Woman Posing for Selfie Flipped by Bison at Yellowstone National Park
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
Heads up, Yellowstone National Park visitors — bison don't want to be in your selfies.
Despite having issued several warnings in the past, Yellowstone officials are again urging visitors to keep a safe distance between themselves and the park's buffalo population after a woman was recently flipped and injured by one of the animals while attempting to pose for a selfie.
The Associated Press reported the 43-year-old Mississippi native was tossed into the air by the bison after attempting to flee, along with her daughter, after realizing they were too close.
"The [woman] said they knew they were doing something wrong but thought it was OK because other people were nearby," park spokeswoman Amy Bartlett told the AP. "People are getting way too close."
The woman was treated for minor injuries at a nearby clinic following the incident, which occurred near the park's Fairy Falls trailhead located just outside of Old Faithful.
Surprisingly, the incident is the fifth such encounter between a tourist and a buffalo at Yellowstone this year, a number Bartlett said was unusual. "We typically have one or two per year," she told the AP. "One factor that could be contributing to added encounters is increased attendance at the park this year."
Earlier this month, a 68-year-old Georgia woman was hospitalized after being gored by a bison at Yellowstone, just days after a 19-year-old suffered minor injuries after being tossed into the air by one of the animals.
The park prohibits visitors from getting within 25 yards of bison and for good reason. Bison are the largest land mammals in North America, and even though they feed mainly on grass and plants, can weigh anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 pounds depending on the sex, states the National Park Service's website.
With as many as 5,000 bison living in Yellowstone, tourists are likely to spot the creatures as they explore the park. The key is to obey park staff instructions and maintain a safe distance no matter how tame they might appear.
And with a record number of tourists having visiting Yellowstone last month and the park's busiest season in full swing, it's critical that visitors heed the National Park Service's warning and snap their selfies from a safe distance.
More by Patrick Clarke
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