Last week, Yellowstone National Park released a statement explaining that a 72-year-old woman from California had been gored by a wild bison after she approached it multiple times to take its picture. Now, footage of the lead-up to the attack, captured by fellow campers, has made its way online.
The update came from local Minneapolis CBS affiliate WCCO, who acquired footage captured by the Larsen family camping near the 72-year-old and her husband. According to the Larsen family, the woman approached the wild bison multiple times, ignoring warning signs like the bison “making noises and blowing steam out.”
This confirms Yellowstone’s version of events. The park originally said that the woman “approached within 10 feet of a bison multiple times to take its photo.” In fact, based on the footage below, 10 feet may have been an exaggeration. In the news report below, you can see the woman approaching within arm’s reach of the bison at one point, as her husband took photos:
“The lady got way too close, she just kept provoking the bison,” says Jake Larsen in an interview. “She was trying to reach her hand out and pet the thing.”
Shortly after this, the bison lost patience and charged, throwing the woman 10 to 15 feet, and then attacking her again when she regained consciousness and tried to get up. Fortunately, Jodi Larsen is a nurse, and was able to tend to the lady while they waited for park rangers to arrive. The woman was eventually airlifted to an Idaho hospital, and we now know that she has been released.
In situations like this, the wild animal is sometimes put down because they’re not sufficiently fearful of humans, to many wildlife photographers dismay. As Yellowstone conducts its investigation into the incident, the footage above should be proof enough that the animal was repeatedly provoked before acting out.