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A bison injured a woman at Yellowstone National Park the day after it opened

The woman got too close to the animal

In this May 26, 2012, file photo, tourists gather to view the eruption of Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park. Access to the southern half of Yellowstone National Park will resume Monday, May 18, by way of Wyoming but park officials continue to talk with Montana about reopening the rest of the park after a seven-week closure due to the coronavirus, Superintendent Cam Sholly said Wednesday, May 13, 2020.
In this May 26, 2012, file photo, tourists gather to view the eruption of Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park. Access to the southern half of Yellowstone National Park will resume Monday, May 18, by way of Wyoming but park officials continue to talk with Montana about reopening the rest of the park after a seven-week closure due to the coronavirus, Superintendent Cam Sholly said Wednesday, May 13, 2020.
Alan Rogers/Casper Star-Tribune via AP, File

A bison injured a visitor to Yellowstone National Park on Wednesday, two days after people could return to the park amid the coronavirus outbreak.

What’s the news:

  • A visitor reportedly got too close to a bison while visiting Yellowstone National Park. She was “knocked to the ground and injured” near the Old Faithful Upper Geyser Basin on Wednesday, according to the National Park Service.
  • The tourist approached “too closely” when the bison attacked her.
  • Emergency personnel helped the woman immediately. She refused emergency transportation.
  • Officials are still investigating the matter.

Context:

This is the first time in 2020 that there has been an incident at Yellowstone between an animal and a human, according to Fox News.

  • The NPS said: “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 (23 meters) away from all large animals — bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes and at least 100 yards (91 meters) away from bears and wolves. If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity.”

Bigger picture:

Yellowstone and Grand Teton national park are two parks that were allowed to reopen under the guidelines of President Donald Trump’s administration, as I reported for the Deseret News this week. There was immediate concern and questions about how visitors would act in the park, especially since some aren’t wearing face masks.

Kristin Brengel, the senior vice president of government affairs at the National Parks Conservation Association, told The Guardian: “We checked the webcam at Old Faithful at about 3.30 p.m. yesterday. Not much physical distancing happening and not a single mask in sight.”

Correction: This article previously said the attack happened a day after the park reopened. It happened two days after the park reopened.