Warnings About Encounters With Bison Continue After Incidents at Yellowstone National Park

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Yellowstone Park rangers have been saying it for years, but, apparently, it needs repeating: Stay away from the wild animals.

A 62-year-old Australian man was hospitalized in 2015 after trying to photograph a Yellowstone bison with his iPad, KTVQ in Montana reported at the time.

The man had to be airlifted to a hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries, park officials said in a statement.

The man was not the only person too close to the animal — there was a group of people reportedly crowding around the bison as it lay near a path not far from Old Faithful Lodge, according to KTLA sister station WDAF in Kansas City. 

The man came within 3 to 5 feet of the bison, taking photos with his iPad when the animal charged.

The 2,000-pound animal tossed him into the air several times before dropping him and leaving, officials said.

That incident came just two weeks after a 16-year-old Taiwanese girl was gored by a bison in the park. She was also standing a few feet away, and turned her back on the animal to have her photo taken with it when she was gored. The girl had to be hospitalized and is now recovering.

Earlier this year, a woman was caught on camera being charged by an elk in Yellowstone after she came too close to the animal, while taking photos. In the video uploaded on May 29, she is standing about 25 feet away from the elk, when it rushes her, knocking the woman to the ground. Fortunately, she walked away with just a scare and a valuable lesson.

Another highly-publicized incident at Yellowstone resulted in the death of a bison calf after a Canadian father and son put the animal in their vehicle, concerned that it was in danger from the cold. Although rangers made the two bring the calf back, it was rejected by the herd and had to be euthanized on May 16 after it continuously approached humans and began wandering on roadways.

A federal magistrate later imposed $735 in fines, fees and compensation on the man.

A powerful photo taken in early May 2015 by a Missouri man shows a bison slamming its head into the skull of a man lying on a Yellowstone path.

With the ability to run three times as fast as a human, bison are an often overlooked danger to those who don’t follow park rules.

Yellowstone regulations prohibit visitors from approaching wildlife and say you should stay at least 25 yards away from large animals, and 100 yards away from bears and wolves, according to the National Park Service website.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the Australian man’s bison encounter as having occurred recently. In fact, it occurred in June 2015. The post has been updated.