Yellowstone park rangers frightened as bison begin to gore tourists
More and more tourists looking for an "Instagram-worthy shot" are getting too close to bison in Yellowstone National Park, and getting gored as a result.
The website for the park, which is mostly in Wyoming, but also spreads into parts of Montana and Idaho too, explicitly states that people should stay at least 25 yards away from the large beasts because they “are WILD and DANGEROUS”.
Even still, people appear to be disobeying these guidelines, as a recent report from The Washington Post states that there have been three incidents over the course of the last two months in which visitors were gored.
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Most recently a 71-year-old was targeted. Before that a 25-year-old and a 34-year-old were attacked.
Perhaps surprisingly in a park full of bears, wolves and elk, bison are the biggest threats to humans, according to a 2019 report from Utah State University.
The problem is compounded by the fact that visitor numbers are rising as tourism recovers from a Covid-inflicted hit, and the simple fact that there are more bison than usual.
Between the years of 1978 and 1992, 56 people were injured and two people were killed by bison; from 2000 to 2015, 25 people were injured by bison.
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“I think that three in a row, that’s just a coincidence, but we see it every year,” Jared Beaver, a wildlife management specialist and assistant professor in Montana State University’s Department of Animal and Range Sciences, told The Washington Post.
“These days, more and more people are visiting the park, and bison numbers are at an all-time high.”
“They look so calm and so tame,” he added. “You get people that aren’t quite familiar with the rules and that these animals are still very wild, dangerous animals.”
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