A woman was attacked by a bison as she was trying to take photos of a herd at Custer State Park in South Dakota.
The encounter was captured on video and shows a group of motorcycle riders stopped in a road as a large herd passes. A woman walks over to the grass and sits down to get a picture of a mother bison and her calf.
Another bison charges the woman and hooks its horn on her jeans, flinging her around in the air. She is thrown out of her pants and lands on the ground as people rush over to help.
Custer State Park officials in a statement Friday said the incident is a warning about the dangers of approaching the animals.
“This was certainly an unfortunate occurrence. We cannot caution visitors enough to respect the space of these animals and all the animals they encounter in the park,” the statement said.
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The park’s superintendent, Matt Snyder, told News Channel 1 that the victim, a 54-year-old woman from Iowa, was transported to a hospital via life-flight in unknown condition.
Park visitor Jo Reed, who filmed the video, said the incident happened Wednesday.
“The bison were everywhere we went, herds and herds of them,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “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.”
Reed said stood out of the top of her Jeep to take photos and saw one woman get off her motorcycle and approach the herd. She wanted to share the video of the attack as a reminder of the dangers of confronting a wild animal.
“PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE FEEL FREE TO share this, so people understand they’re about to die when they confront an animal this powerful. Thankfully the ranger did not need to tranquilize the bison,” Reed wrote.
The incident at Custer State Park comes more than a month after two separate bison attacks at Yellowstone National Park.
In June, a 72-year-old California woman was gored while trying to take pictures of a bison. The park service said in a statement at the time that she “approached within 10 feet of a bison multiple times” and the bison most likely felt threatened.
The woman, who was not identified, “sustained multiple goring wounds” and was flown to the hospital, where she was later released.
Another woman was knocked to the ground and injured by a bison in May after park officials said she got too close to the animal.