Bison gores teen in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Posted at 3:15 PM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 17:24:42-04
(Dennis Bragg/MTN News photo)

A visitor was injured by a bison in the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota on Saturday, July 27.

A press release from Park officials says that the victim, a 17 year old from Colorado, was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Bismarck. As the visitor is a juvenile, the name will not be released.

According to the press release, at about 11:30 a.m., park staff were notified of the incident, which took place on the Lower Paddock Creek Trail near the Halliday Well trailhead. Park rangers and Billings County Emergency Medical Services responded.

A witness said that the visitor was walking along the trail, and a herd of bison was nearby. Two bull bison had been fighting moments earlier and were on either side of the trail when the visitor walked between them.

One bull charged from behind, striking the teen in the back and goring the back of the right thigh, tossing the teen about six feet into the air.

Park rangers and Billings County paramedics treated the patient at the scene until they could be taken by helicopter to Bismarck for further treatment. The patient was last reported to be in stable condition.

Park staff note that bison are large, powerful, and wild. They can turn quickly and can easily outrun humans. Bulls can be aggressive during the rutting season, mid-July through August. Park regulations require that visitors stay at least 25 yards (the length of two full-sized buses) away from large animals such as bison, elk, deer, and horses.

This incident comes just days after a 9-year-old girl was injured after being tossed into the air by a bull bison in Yellowstone National Park (see below); click here for details.