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Woman 'severely injured' by a bison at North Dakota national park, officials say

The National Park Service reminded visitors that bison are “large, powerful, and wild” and "can easily outrun humans."
A bison grazes in Theodore Roosevelt National Park
A bison grazes in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota in 2017.Blake Nicholson / AP file

A bison “severely injured” a woman visiting Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota was over the weekend, park officials said. 

The unidentified tourist from Minnesota was at Painted Canyon Trailhead when she was injured Saturday. 

Park staff members were notified around 11 a.m., and park rangers, the Billings County sheriff and emergency medical services responded, the National Park Service said in a news release

“The woman sustained significant injuries to her abdomen and foot,” the release said. Officials did not share details about what precipitated the incident or how the bison injured her.

“The incident is still under investigation and the exact details of what occurred are not known at this time,” the release said.

First responders treated her at the scene until she could be taken by ambulance to a hospital in Dickinson. From there she was transported to a hospital in Fargo. Park officials said she was “last reported to be in serious but stable condition.”

The injury prompted the National Park Service to remind visitors that bison are “large, powerful, and wild.”

“They can turn quickly and can easily outrun humans. Bulls can be aggressive during the rutting season, mid-July through August. Use extra caution and give them additional space during this time,” it said. 

Under park regulations, visitors should be at least 25 yards — the length of two full-size buses — away from large animals, including bison, elk, deer and horses. 

Just days after the Theodore Roosevelt National Park bison incident, a bison gored a woman Monday at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

The 47-year-old woman from Phoenix suffered “significant injuries to her chest and abdomen” and was flown by helicopter to a hospital, the park said in a statement Monday. 

She had walked away from the bison after she and the person she was with spotted two of the animals, the National Park Service said, and one of the bison charged. It’s not clear how far away the woman was when the bison went after her. 

That incident remains under investigation.