The 16-year-old Taiwanese exchange student was visiting the park with her host family
They were standing less than 6 feet from the bison when it struck, park service says
A 16-year-old Taiwanese girl has been gored by a bison while posing for a photo in Yellowstone National Park.
The girl sustained serious but not life-threatening injuries from the attack on Friday afternoon, the National Park Service said in a statement over the weekend.
The 16-year-old exchange student, whose name wasn’t provided by the park service, was visiting Yellowstone with her host family.
As they were hiking near the geyser Old Faithful, they stopped where a group of people had gathered to watch a bison grazing next to the trail.
“The girl turned her back to the bison to have her picture taken when the bison lifted its head, took a couple steps and gored her,” the park service said.
Park rangers who rushed to the scene took the girl to the Old Faithful Clinic at the park before she was airlifted out by helicopter for further treatment.
‘Yellowstone wildlife is wild’
Every year, some visitors to Yellowstone are gored by bison, sometimes fatally, according to the park service.
“Visitors are reminded that Yellowstone wildlife is wild,” it said. “Wildlife should not be approached, no matter how tame or calm they appear.”
The park is dotted with signs warning people not to get too close to animals.
Authorities tell visitors not to go within 25 yards of bison and other large animals. The Taiwanese girl and her family were believed to have been standing between 3 feet and 6 feet from the bison on Friday, the park service said.
“Bison can sprint three times faster than humans can run and are unpredictable and dangerous,” it warned.
The bison population in Yellowstone is estimated to range between 2,300 to 5,000.
CNN’s Joe Sutton contributed to this report.