On Saturday July 15, a bison gored and severely injured a Minnesota woman in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, leaving her with “significant injuries to her abdomen and foot,” the National Park Service (NPS) said in a recent press release. The incident was one of two bison attacks occurring in western national parks in a span of just three days. The other attacks involved an Arizona woman who was charged, gored, and severely injured while walking between lodging facilities in Yellowstone National Park on July 17.
“Park Rangers and Billings County Sheriff and Emergency Medical Services responded and treated the patient at the scene until she could be taken by ambulance to Dickinson for further medical care,” NPS said in the press release. “The patient was then transported to a hospital in Fargo.” Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located in far western North Dakota near the state’s border with eastern Montana.
According to NPS, the exact details that led up to the July 15 attack are not known at this time, and the incident is still under investigation. The agency did reveal the location where the goring took place as the Painted Canyon Trailhead. On its website, NPS calls Painted Canyon “a dramatic introduction to the Badlands of North Dakota.” The trail consists of a one-mile loop that “offers a moderate challenge with massive rewards.”
Like Yellowstone’s bison, the comparatively smaller herds found in Theodore Roosevelt National Park are currently in the middle of their annual rutting season. “Bulls can be aggressive during the rutting season, mid-July through August,” NPS said. “Use extra caution and give them additional space during this time. National Parks are generally safe places and many people visit every year without incident, but visitors must make themselves aware of potential hazards.”