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Bison attacks woman who was trying to take selfie with it in Yellowstone Park

Story highlights

  • A 43-year-old woman suffers minor injuries after the bison tossed her in the air
  • She and her daughter were trying to take a photo with the bison, the park service says

(CNN)Visitors to Yellowstone Park seem to be having trouble taking in the message that it's not a good idea to get too close to the wild bison that roam the wilderness.

The latest person to find out the hard way is a 43-year-old Mississippi woman who tried to take a selfie with one of the hairy beasts near a trail on Tuesday.
    She and her daughter turned their backs to the bison, which was about 6 yards away, to take a photo with it, according to the National Park Service.
    "They heard the bison's footsteps moving toward them and started to run, but the bison caught the mother on the right side, lifted her up and tossed her with its head," the park service said in a statement Wednesday.
    Her family drove her from the site of the attack, near the Fairy Falls trailhead, to the Old Faithful Clinic in the park for treatment. She was released with minor injuries.

    'They thought it would be OK'

    The woman is the fifth person injured after approaching a bison in Yellowstone so far this season -- and the third whose dangerous encounter resulted from photo-taking.
    Park authorities make an effort to warn people not to get too close to animals.
    "The family said they read the warnings in both the park literature and the signage, but saw other people close to the bison, so they thought it would be OK," said Colleen Rawlings, a ranger in the park's Old Faithful District. "People need to recognize that Yellowstone wildlife is wild, even though they seem docile. This woman was lucky that her injuries were not more severe."
    A 16-year-old girl from Taiwan was gored by a bison in May while posing for a photo near Old Faithful, Yellowstone's famous geyser. She suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries from the attack.
    And a 62-year-old Australian man was taking pictures within 5 feet of a bison near Old Faithful Lodge on June 2 when the animal charged and tossed him into the air several times, according to park officials. He was taken to a hospital for further medical treatment.

    Woman gored three weeks ago while hiking

    Park authorities instruct visitors not to go within 25 yards of bison and other large animals -- and 100 yards away from bears and wolves.
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    "Bison can sprint three times faster than humans can run and are unpredictable and dangerous," park officials warn.
    On June 23, a 19-year-old Georgia woman was walking with friends to their car after a late-night swim in the Firehole River when they saw a bison lying about 10 feet away. The animal charged the teen and tossed her in the air, leaving her with minor injuries, the park service said.
    Just over a week later, a 68-year-old Georgia woman was hospitalized after being attacked by a bison while hiking on Storm Point Trail.
    As the woman passed the bison, it charged and gored her. She was taken by helicopter ambulance to a hospital outside the park.
    Almost 5,000 bison live in Yellowstone, the only place in the United States where the animals have lived continuously since prehistoric times.