A 16-year-old exchange student was recovering Saturday from being gored by a bison at Yellowstone National Park. Park officials say the Taiwanese girl sustained serious, but not life-threatening, injuries when she was gored in the Old Faithful area.
The incident happened shortly after noon Friday while the teen and her host family were visiting the Upper Geyser Basin. "While hiking near Old Faithful Geyser, the family joined a group of people watching a bison grazing adjacent to the trail. According to first-hand reports, the group was somewhere between three and six feet from the bison. The girl turned her back to the bison to have her picture taken when the bison lifted its head, took a couple steps and gored her," park spokeswoman Traci Weaver said.
"When responding rangers arrived on scene, there was a group of people less than ten feet from the grazing bison. The rangers, with assistance from bystanders, moved the girl a safe distance from the bison. The girl was transported to the Old Faithful Clinic, treated and then taken by helicopter ambulance for further medical treatment," Ms. Weaver said.
Yellowstone visitors are reminded that the park's wildlife is wild. Park regulations state that visitors must stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and at least 25 yards away from all other large animals - bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes. Bison can sprint three times faster than humans can run and are unpredictable and dangerous, the park notes, adding that "just because an animal may be near a trail or boardwalk does not mean it should be approached within the recommended safe distances. Visitors are advised to give the animals enough space and be willing to alter their plans to avoid interacting with an animal in close proximity."