Fiancé of Injured Pheonix Woman Recalls Violent Bison Attack at Yellowstone National Park
Written by Jessi Entel on July 20, 2023
What was meant to be a fun getaway to Yellowstone National Park, quickly changed the lives of Chris Whitehall and his fiancée Amber Rogers after Rogers was attacked by a bison.
Whitehall, met with KPNX-TV to share about the violent bison attack that happened earlier this week that caused Rogers to be airlifted to Idaho.
“Escaping the grind of our lives. Escaping to beautiful country to enjoy and apparently God had other plans,” said Whitehill. They were on their vacation for only 12 hours, when they had an unexpected encounter with a bison.
“When we were walking down, we spotted one bison 25/30 yards away and he was just grazing. I said to Amber, ‘There’s bison here. Let’s just move away and give him his space.’ Which we did,” said Whitehill.
“You know being an outdoorsman myself. I hunt and fish and I know that you have to have respect for any wild animal out there,” shared Whitehill.
It was then when Whitehill saw a second bison rolling in the dirt about 60 yards away. Whitehill said, “We just kept moving away. Moving away and I told Amber ‘Do not run.’” But it was not enough, as the bison charged toward Rogers.
Whitehill shared that the bison struck his fiancée on the head and then she became “airborne”.
“I think she did one or two backflips in the air, and I was screaming and yelling trying to distract him,” said Whitehill . “She landed pretty hard on her back.”
After Rogers was airlifted to a medical center in Idaho, three hours from Yellowstone, it was discovered she had fractured multiple vertebrae, and had both lungs collapsed.
“I’ve replayed it so many times, it was such a freak accident. You think, already, we’re taking precautionary measures. We’re doing what we’ve been told to stay safe, and it wasn’t enough,” Whitehill said.
The bison attack is still under investigation, but Yellowstone National Park officials have said it is mating season for bison, also known as the rut. This time of year makes bison even more unpredictable.
This is the first bison attack in the park this year. The last bison attack occurred in June of 2022.
Rogers has a long recovery ahead, and a GoFundMe account has been setup to help with her medical costs.