(WTNH)– A 16-year-old girl was gored by a bison while posing for a photo in Yellowstone National Park.
According to CNN, the Taiwanese exchange student, who has not been identified, sustained serious but not life threatening injuries when she was attacked by the animal on Friday afternoon.
The girl and her host family were hiking near the Old Faithful geyser when they stopped with another group to watch a bison grazing next to the trail.
The Yellowstone park service said, “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 girl was quickly taken to Old Faithful Clinic by park rangers, before she was airlifted out by helicopter to a hospital for treatment.
According to the Yellowstone safety page, bison are unpredictable and dangerous and can sprint three times faster than humans can run. They also report that every year visitors are gored and some have even been killed. The park advises watching bison from inside a hard-sided vehicle.
There are signs all over the national park warning visitors not to get too close to the wild animals. Visitors are told to not go within 25 yards of the large animals. CNN reports that the teenage girl and her family were only about 3 to 6 feet away from the bison.
There are about 2,300 to 5,000 bison at Yellowstone National Park and Yellowstone is the only place in the country where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times.