YNP Visitor Injured by Bison
Written by Andrew-Rossi on May 3, 2018
The East Entrance to Yellowstone Park is scheduled to open tomorrow at 8 a.m., but an injury to a visitor has already been reported.
On Tuesday afternoon, 72-year-old Virginia Junk of Boise, Idaho, was butted in the thigh, pushed, and tossed off a trail by a bison in the Old Faithful area.
According to Park officials, Junk did not see the animal as she walked around a bend in the trail and wasn’t able to move away before the animal dropped its head and pushed her off the trail. Rangers responded to the incident and treated Junk’s minor injuries, after which she was transported by ambulance to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, Idaho.
No citations were issued. This is the first incident of a bison injuring a visitor in 2018. There was one incident in 2017 and five in 2015.
Park staff warn that animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be. When an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space. Always stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards away from all other animals, including bison and elk.
In related news, while the East Entrance to Lake and Lake to Canyon Junction are scheduled to open tomorrow morning to public motorists, visitors are cautioned that possible temporary closures could occur between East Entrance and Sylvan Pass in the afternoon.
A significant snowpack still exists on Sylvan Pass, which means that the weekend’s expected warm and sunny weather will create significant avalanche danger. Park rangers will monitor conditions closely.