bison in yellowstone
Bison in a field; photo credit: NPS/Neal Herbert

Open for One Day, Yellowstone Sees First Bison Attack of 2020

National parks have been closed for 3 months, and on the first day they reopen, someone gets hurt.

Just 3 days ago, the National Park Service announced dates for reopening several parks across the U.S.

The iconic Yellowstone National Park, at the intersection of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, was one of the first to welcome back visitors. And on its first day back, Yellowstone reported an incident with a female visitor and a bison.

The incident occurred in the Old Faithful Upper Geyser Basin after the visitor approached the animal too closely. Yellowstone reports she was within 25 yards of the animal. Her injuries did not require medical attention.

But trust us, you don’t want to get that close. The animals are just as fascinating and majestic from afar.

Within the injury report was a reminder from Yellowstone regarding the park’s wildlife policies:

“Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park are wild. When an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space. Stay 25 yards away from all large animals — bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes. And at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves.”

As we’ve noted before, these incidents happen far too often. And because we’ve all been cooped up, you may want to give yourself a refresher on proper park etiquette and Leave No Trace.

Right now, the only open access to Yellowstone National Park is through the south and east entrances in Wyoming. Many more parks are reopening this week in time for Memorial Day weekend (although there may be risks involved).

Visit our article on open national parks here to see the status of the park nearest you.

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Mary Murphy
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Mary is based in Denver, Colorado, but frequently travels abroad. Her outdoor interests span from climbing to landscape photography to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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