Yellowstone visitor injured by bison

A group of bison graze and rest near the roadside south of Madison in Yellowstone National Park in August 2013.

Ruffin Prevost / Yellowstone Gate

A group of bison graze and rest near the roadside south of Madison in Yellowstone National Park in August 2013.

A girl visiting Yellowstone National Park sustained serious injuries Friday after being gored by a bison.

The 16-year-old Taiwanese exchange student was visiting the Upper Geyser Basin with her host family. 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 gored her, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office.

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, where she was treated and then taken by helicopter for further medical treatment. Additional information on her condition was not immediately available, but park officials said her injuries were not considered to be life-threatening.

Park officials advise that wildlife should not be approached, no matter how tame or calm they appear. Regulations require that visitors 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 and are unpredictable and dangerous.

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