Park medical staff examined the woman at the scene.

By Cailey Rizzo
May 21, 2020
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A bison at Yellowstone National Park attacked a visitor who got too close, only two days after the park partially reopened to the public.

The woman followed the bison too quickly and too closely, prompting the animal to knock her to the ground and injure her at the park’s Old Faithful Upper Geyser Basin Wednesday afternoon. Park medical staff examined the woman at the scene.

"She was assessed and refused transport to a medical facility," the park service told NBC News.

Bison graze by the deserted north entrance road into Yellowstone in March while the park was closed to the public due to coronavirus.
William Campbell/Getty

The park reiterated that visitors should stay at least 25 yards away from large animals, like bison, elk, and moose.

This week marked the park’s first phase of its partial reopening after a two-month shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. The three-phase plan started with opening the park’s entrances in Wyoming and allowed visitors access to Yellowstone’s Lower Loop, which includes Old Faithful.

Bison attacks are such an issue at the park that signs are posted all around, warning visitors not to get too close to the animals.

"Bison have injured more people in Yellowstone than any other animal," the park's website reads. "Bison are unpredictable and can run three times faster than humans.”

In March before the lockdown, a local news reporter went viral when a herd approached while he was on camera. He exclaimed, “Oh no, I ain’t messing with you,” and walked away — which the park service turned into a safety poster.

However animals aren't the only things visitors need to be mindful of.

Earlier this month, while Yellowstone was still closed, someone snuck in illegally and fell into a “thermal feature,” near Old Faithful. The visitor was flown by air ambulance to a burn center for treatment.

The hot springs are the park’s most dangerous natural feature and visitors are urged to stay on boardwalks and trails in these areas.