Bison injures visitor at Old Faithful

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A bison injured a visitor in the Old Faithful area on Tuesday afternoon.

Yellowstone National Park officials say 72-year-old Virginia Junk of Boise, Idaho, was butted in the thigh, pushed and tossed off a trail by a bison.

“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,” park officials said in a news release.

Rangers responded to the incident and treated her for minor injuries. Junk 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, and comes early in the season. The park’s East Entrance is scheduled to open to visitors on Friday morning.

Last year, there was one incident of a bison injuring a visitor, and five in 2015.

Park officials reminded visitors 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,” the release said.

Visitors are asked to 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. If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity, park officials say.

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