Last updated: 07:47 PM ET, Sun July 05 2015

Yellowstone Must Once Again Warn Tourists to Stay Away From Bison

Impacting Travel | Michael Isenbek | July 05, 2015

Yellowstone Must Once Again Warn Tourists to Stay Away From Bison

Photo via Twitter

We’ve been here before, and now the warning must be issued again: If you are in Yellowstone National Park and spot a bison, DO NOT APPROACH IT.

TravelPulse reported on two incidents occurring in mid-May and early June, respectively, but two more tourist attacks by bison, one in late June, and the other just this past Thursday, has park officials concerned, according to a CNN report.

Four incidents in less than two months is a lot more than usual, Yellowstone spokeswoman Amy Bartlett told CNN. "We usually have one to two incidents per year," she said. And according to CNN, we’ve just started the busiest season in the park with the passing of the Fourth of July weekend.

A 68-year-old woman from Georgia is still in the hospital after being charged, then gored by a bison on Storm Point Trail as she attempted to move past the animal, according to the National Park service via CNN. Her injuries were so serious that she was flown by helicopter ambulance to the hospital, where her condition is currently unknown.

The other incident occurred on June 23, when a 19-year-old woman, also from Georgia, and three friends who work at nearby Canyon Village were returning to their car after a nighttime swim at Firehole River. They saw a prone bison about 10 feet away, which prompted one friend to run. But the animal charged the teen and "tossed her in the air," the park service said.

The 19-year-old managed to get home and go to sleep, but woke up shortly afterwards feeling sick, so was taken to the hospital via ambulance. According to the park service, she "was released with minor injuries later that day."

So here it is again, straight from The National Park Service’s official website: “Do not approach wildlife, no matter how tame or calm they appear. Always obey instructions from park staff on scene. You must stay at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves and at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all other large animals — bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes.”

“Bison can sprint three times faster than humans can run … they are unpredictable and dangerous,” the park added.

“Some tourists may provoke animals by getting too close to them. The consequences of treating wild animals like they're domesticated or in a zoo can be deadly,” park officials told CNN.

Around 5,000 bison live in the park, located largely in Wyoming and is the only place in the U.S. where they have lived continuously since ancient times.

The National Park Service maintains a multimedia page that features videos of bison attacks along with other Yellowstone animals, and intends to, in their words, "convince everyone that it is unwise to approach wild animals even if they seem tame."

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