MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An Anoka County family witnessed a frightening scene last week when a woman was gored by a bison in Yellowstone National Park.

“The lady got way too close,” Jake Larsen said. “She just kept provoking the bison.”

Jake was on vacation with his sister Jenna, mother Jodi and father John. They drove from their home in Ramsey to visit the Wyoming park.

They said they watched for about half an hour as the woman at the campsite over from them repeatedly got up next to one of two roaming bison.

“I could hear the bison making noises and blowing steam out,” Jenna said. “It was just an accident waiting to happen.”

Jenna was recording the moment the animal began to charge.

“[The woman] got thrown initially maybe 10, 15 feet in the air across and she was unconscious briefly,” Jodi said. “She got up and it hit her again.”

Jodi is a nurse. She got some blankets for the woman, who had no memory of what happened to her.

Yellowstone National Park identified the woman as a 72-year-old from California.

“She didn’t get hit in any vital organs,” Jake said. “It was just two gorge marks on the sides of her.”

The Larsen’s said there are signs everywhere in Yellowstone warning not to approach the wildlife.

“If you don’t bug them they’re not going to bug you,” Jenna said. “Especially when you go camping, that’s their home and we’re kind of the invaders. That’s where they live and people need to be respectful of that.”

The woman was airlifted to an Idaho hospital, where she’s since been released.

Yellowstone biologists say 25 yards is as close as you should get to bison.

For bears and wolves, 100 yards is a safe distance.

David Schuman

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