An exchange student was gored by a bison while posing for a photo at Yellowstone National Park. The 16-year-old girl, who is a citizen of Taiwan, suffered a painful injury to her buttocks. However, a representative with the National Park Service confirmed she is expected to survive.
As reported by Reuters, the girl was touring the park on Saturday with her host family. As they approached the Old Faithful Geyser, they spotted a herd of bison grazing near the marked trail.
The teen and her host family stopped approximately four feet from the herd. According to reports, the girl turned her back on the bison to pose for photograph.
National Park Service spokeswoman Traci Weaver said “they were photographing this animal so very close where the bison was standing… the bison reacted the way any wild animal would.”
Weaver confirmed one of the bison charged toward the student and impaled her buttocks with its horn.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 17, 2015
The teen, who was not identified, was immediately transported to the Old Faithful medical center for treatment. However, she was later transferred to a local hospital via airlift.
The student’s bison encounter is a grim reminder that wild animals can pose a serious threat. Bison are specifically dangerous, as tourists often underestimate their speed and agility.
American bison, which are also called buffalo, can reach heights over 6 feet and weigh more than 2,000 pounds. Although they are quite large and appear clumsy, the magnificent beasts can run up to 40 miles per hour. As discussed by Bison World, the large animals can also “turn on a dime, and can jump over a six foot fence standing still.”
**Warning — Video may be disturbing for some viewers**
According to the Yellowstone National Park Service, a majority of bison related injuries occur while tourists are snapping photos. Therefore, park guests are encouraged to either remain inside their vehicle or stay at least 300 feet away from the animals while on foot.
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) May 17, 2015
Spokeswoman Traci Weaver said Yellowstone National Park guests are encouraged to take the same precautions with bears, bighorn sheep, coyotes, moose, and wolves — which also inhabit the park.
The identity of the student who was gored by the bison was not released. However, officials confirmed the injury was not live-threatening and she is expected to recover without further complications.
[Image via Shutterstock]