Seasonal camping

American Bison can often be seen roaming the stunning natural landscapes of Yellowstone National Park. And while they seem gentle enough, they can be dangerous when they feel threatened.

A 16-year-old Taiwanese exchange student visiting Yellowstone learned this the hard way, when her attempted photo op with a wild bison turned into a bloodbath.

According to CBS News, the student, who was visiting the park with her family on Friday, May 15, walked within three feet of the bison to take a picture with it.

“The young girl turned her back to the bison so she could have her picture taken with it,” Traci Weaver, a park spokeswoman, said. “The bison took two steps and gored her.”

The girl was airlifted to a hospital in Montana with injuries that were serious, but not life-threatening, the Jackson Hole News and Guide reported.

Since the incident, the Parks Service has reminded Yellowstone visitors to stay at least 25 feet away from bison, elk, moose and coyotes in the park. Visitors should make an effort to stay even farther from wolves and bears to stay safe, park officials explained.

“Visitors are advised to give the animals enough space and be willing to alter their plans to avoid interacting with an animal in close proximity,” the Parks Service said in a statement.

The moral of the story?

Whether you’re at a national park like Yellowstone or on a family camping vacation at one of the country’s many public campgrounds and camp sites, it’s crucial to remember that wildlife is just that — wild. While seeing animals in their natural habitat can be an amazing, educational experience, it’s important not to disturb them or the ecosystems in which they live. The outcome might put you in danger.

What are your thoughts on this story? Have any other questions about respecting wildlife while visiting a campground? Let us know in the comments below. Read more blogs like this. Read more articles like this.

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