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Two Recent Maulings Offer A Reminder Of National Park Etiquette

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Last weekend a 17-year-old young woman was tossed six-feet into the air and gored in the thigh by a wild bison. It was the second incident of its kind in under two weeks. The teen was walking along a trail at Theodore Roosevelt National Park and came between two bull bison mid-fight. One bison charged her and struck her in the back, sending her flying, according to USA Today. Paramedics and park rangers treated the girl immediately at the scene until she was safe to board a helicopter that transported her to a nearby Bismarck hospital where she is in stable condition.

Last week, a similar situation occurred in Yellowstone National Park after a bison charged a group of 50 tourists and sent a 9-year-old girl into the air. The tourists were all within 5 to 10 feet of the animal for over 10 minutes (it should be noted that standard park regulations require visitors to stay at least two yards away from all large wild animals).

Since both girls are doing fine and won’t sustain any serious injuries we feel totally comfortable saying this: These animals are wild, people. If you see two bison fighting, go the other way, and if you’re part of a large group of tourists maybe don’t stand next to a large animal with charging capabilities. These animals are not your friends. The fact that they’re wild is what we admire about them. Naturally, if they feel threatened by your presence it’s going to be a them vs. you situation.

We love you and all, but our money is on the bison.

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