The Charlotte Observer
A woman at a South Dakota state park got too close to a bison.
An aggravated bison tossed the woman at Custer State Park on Saturday, park officials said. A couple had been walking back from a wedding reception at a pavilion in the state park when they encountered a small herd of bison near the trail, Kobee Stalder, the visitor services program manager, told McClatchy News.
When the woman got too close to a bison, she was knocked to the ground, Stalder said.
“Other than some bumps and bruises she was OK,” Stalder said in an email. “We’re very fortunate in that aspect that no more severe injuries were sustained during that incident.”
Last year, a bison charged a woman and flung her out of her pants at the same state park. Her jeans got caught of the bison’s horn, McClatchy News reported.
“The bison were everywhere we went, herds and herds of them,” Jo Reed, who filmed the incident, wrote at the time. “We came around a curve just behind a group of motorcyclists and there was a herd standing in the middle of the road, most noticeably a cow (female) and her calf which was nursing.”
The state park features one of the world’s largest bison herds, according to the South Dakota Department of Tourism. More than 1,400 bison roam the park.
Custer State Park encompasses 71,000 acres in the state’s Black Hills. It’s home to an abundance of wildlife.
“While the animals within the park are used to visitors and vehicles, they are still wild animals,” South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks said on its website. “Please remain in your vehicle or stay at least 100 yards from bison, elk, and other animals.”
Bison can be dangerous animals. They can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and run up to 30 miles per hour, according to the National Park Service.
“We do our best to educate our visitors that they should view bison from a distance of at least 100 yards and that the best possible way to view them is from the safety of their vehicles,” Stalder said. “But if they encounter them while out on a trail, they should give them a wide berth.”