On Tuesday, Virginia Junk of Boise, Idaho was butted in the thigh, pushed and tossed off a trail by a bison in the Old Faithful area of Yellowstone National Park.

Apparently, she did not see the animal as she walked around a bend in the trail and wasn't able to move away before the animal dropped its head and pushed her off the trail. Rangers responded to the incident and treated Junk’s minor injuries. From there she was transported by ambulance to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, Idaho.

This is the first incident of a bison injuring a visitor in 2018. There was one incident in 2017 and five in 2015.

Please use caution and remember:

  • Animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be. When an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space. Always stay at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all other animals, including bison and elk. If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity.
  • Read more about safety in the park, including how to behave around wildlife.