A 9-year-old girl was the victim of a charging bison at Yellowstone National Park on Monday, when a free-roaming bull sent the child airborne in an attack caught on video.
What are the details?
Footage of the incident went viral, racking up millions of views within days. The clip taken by a bystander shows the animal calmly walking on a hill before breaking into a canter, charging the girl and sending her head over heels several feet in the air.
Video shows bison attack girl at Yellowstone
On Tuesday, the National Park Service confirmed that the incident occurred near the Old Faithful Geyser area, reporting that “according to witnesses, a group of approximately 50 people were within 5-10 feet of the bison for at least 20 minutes before eventually causing the bison to charge the group.”
The little girl from Odessa, Florida, was injured but treated by park emergency medical personnel before being taken to and released from a nearby clinic. The extent of her injuries was not disclosed, but the incident is still under investigation. No citations have been issued in relation to the episode.
Following Monday’s attack, park “officials stressed that people should stay at least 25 yards, or 75 feet, away from bison and other large animals such as elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes,” The Washington Post reported. Visitors who stumble upon a wolf or bear should keep even further distance, to 100 yards, or 300 feet.
According to the National Park Service, bison injure more visitors at Yellowstone than any other animal. There are roughly 4,500 bison roaming “relatively freely” in the park, which is “the only place in the United States where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times.”
Bull bison can weigh as much as a ton or 2,000 pounds, and are known to be aggressive. The animals run up to three times as fast as a human or up to 40 mph.