Bison gores woman at Yellowstone National Park after crowd gets too close, officials say

At one point, people had gotten within 15 feet of the bull bison.

June 7, 2018, 4:20 PM

A woman was gored by a bison at Yellowstone National Park Wednesday after a crowd got too close to the animal, according to park officials.

Kim Hancock, of Santa Rosa, California, was attacked after she and others got within 10 yards of the bison while walking along a boardwalk at the Fountain Paint Pot in the park's Lower Geyer Basin, the National Park Service said in a press release.

At one point, people were closer than 15 feet to the bull, officials said.

When the bison crossed the boardwalk, it became agitated and charged at the crowd and gored Hancock. The animal then immediately left the area, park officials said.

Park rangers responded to the incident and treated Hancock for a hip injury. She was then transported by ambulance to the Big Sky Medical Center in Big Sky, Montana, according to the release.

She is in good condition, officials said.

The latest attack at Yellowstone comes days after two people were attacked by elks in separate incidents.

On Sunday, a 51-year-old employee at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel was attacked by a mother elk protecting its calf about 20 feet away, hidden by cars. The woman was airlifted to a nearby trauma center to be treated for severe injuries.

On Tuesday, a 53-year-old Texas woman was walking between two cabins at the hotel and surprised by an elk along a wall with a calf nearby. The woman tried to back away, but the elk pursued her and struck her in the head and torso. She was taken to the nearby hospital for treatment.

A herd of bison grazes in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park, Aug. 3, 2016.
Matthew Brown/AP, FILE

Calving season is causing elk mothers to act aggressively as they protect their newborns and hide them near buildings or cars, park experts said.

It is unknown if the same elk was involved in both attacks.

Four people have been injured by wildlife at Yellowstone in the last month or so, park officials said.

The incident on Wednesday is the second time a park-goer has been attacked by a bison this year. One person was injured by bison in 2017, and there were five incidents in 2015, according to the National Park Service.

Yellowstone warned that animals in the park are "wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be."

Park officials instructed visitors to give animals space, even near trails, boardwalks, parking lots and other developed areas. People should stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards away from all other animals, including bison and elk, officials said.

"If you can't maintain these distances, turn around and find an alternate route," the park advised.

ABC News' Alexandra Faul contributed to this report.