72-year-old woman gored several times by bison at Yellowstone

A 72-year-old tourist from California was gored several times by a bison last week at Yellowstone National Park while trying to take photos of the animal, according to reports, citing a statement by National Park Service officials.

The unidentified woman "sustained multiple goring wounds" Thursday after she apparently came too close to the animal before it charged, the statement said. She was flown by helicopter to the Eastern Idaho regional medical center, but her condition was not known, ABC News reported.

She “approached within 10 feet of a bison multiple times to take its photo,” said Yellowstone’s Senior Bison Biologist Chris Geremia in the statement. “The series of events that led to the goring suggest the bison was threatened by being repeatedly approached to within 10 feet.”

The statement advises people to maintain a minimum of 25 yards between themselves and the animal, and to recognize aggressive behaviors as a warning sign, such as “pawing the ground, snorting, bobbing their head, bellowing, and raising their tail.”

“If that doesn’t make the threat (in this instance it was a person) move away, a threatened bison may charge ... move away if they approach, and run away or find cover if they charge.”

Park Rangers rushed to Bridge Bay Campground and administered first aid until medics arrived. The incident is still being investigated.

A full grown male bison could weigh more than 2,000 pounds and stand 6 feet tall, while females can weigh 1,000 pounds and stand 4 to 5 feet tall. The animals can reportedly reach speeds up to 35 mph.

In May, a bison knocked down a tourist in the Old Faithful Upper Geyser Basin, NBC reported. In July 2019, a 9-year-old girl was launched into the air by a bull bison, although she was not seriously injured. The group she was with had been standing dangerously within 5 to 10 feet of the animal, according to the reports.

Also roaming the vast 3,472-square-mile wilderness of Yellowstone are bears, wolves, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes.

Park visitors are told to stay at least 100 yards from bears and wolves.

Just last week, a 37-year-old Missouri woman hiking on the Fairy Falls Trail near Old Faithful was clawed during a close encounter with a female grizzly.