(Wyoming) Most of us in this area know better, but every year we hear a story of someone (usually an out of state tourist) getting injured by a bison in Yellowstone National Park. If you have friends or family coming to visit this spring you may want to show them this, and remind them. NO SELFIES WITH THE ANIMALS! Late last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on American bison which detailed the number of American Bison Attacks in the park since 1980. They had some interesting findings: From 1983 to 1985 there were 33 injuries. In response Yellowstone launched a fairly successful outreach campaign to inform visitors about staying away from the animals. From 2010 to 2014, almost one bison injury per year occured. Then in 2015, people went bison crazy, tourists suffered 5 bison related injuries some serious but all non fatal. The five persons injured during 2015 (four Yellowstone visitors and one employee) ranged in age from 16 to 68 years four were female. Every incident occurred in developed areas, such as hiking trails or geyser basins. Two persons were gored, and three were tossed into the air. Four persons required hospitalization, three of whom were transported by helicopter ambulance. Here is a list of the bison related incidents for 2015: 16-year-old visitor was seriously injured after attempting to take a picture with a bison. Reports say she got within three to six feet of the animal and was gored. 62-year-old man was tossed while attempting to photograph a bison from three to five feet away. His injuries were considered serious but not life-threatening. 19-year-old employee was tossed by a bison she accidentally encountered while off-trail late at night. Her injuries were considered minor. July 1, a 68-year-old woman was gored when she attempted to walk around a bison hanging out on the Storm Point trail. Her injuries were serious. 43-year-old woman was gored while trying to take a picture with her daughter and a bison standing 18 feet away. The bison charged and tossed the woman, who put herself between the animal and her daughter. She sustained minor injuries. During 1980–1999, a total of 10 of 35 bison encounters involved photography with people standing about 10 feet from the buffalo, unlike the 3–6 ft reported with recent photography-related injuries. The reason people are getting closer? The smart phone and selfies. According to the CDC, "The popularity of smart phone photography with its limited zoom capacity and social media sharing of selfies might explain why visitors disregard park regulations and approach wildlife more closely than when traditional camera technology was used." Yellowstone has published guidelines that state people should maintain a distance of 75–300 ft from wildlife for the safety of persons and wildlife. The park has also published a guide on how to safely take pictures in Yellowstone
Yellowstone National Park opens on the 6th of May so remember to be safe
out there and to inform friends family and anyone you see acting like an
idiot to be safe and to not take selfies with wild animals.