Bison Selfies Are A Bad Idea, One Woman Learns The Hard Way

<p> Shutterstock </p>
<p> Shutterstock </p>

A Mississippi woman touring Yellowstone National Park with her family got a little carried away with the rampant majesty of the park's wildlife.

Spotting an especially photogenic bison during a hike on Tuesday, the 43-year-old woman and her daughter approached and stood mere feet from the handsome beast. Then, they turned their backs to pose for a selfie.

"They heard the bison's footsteps moving toward them and started to run," the National Park Service said in a statement, "but the bison caught the mother on the right side, lifted her up and tossed her with its head."

The woman's father sprung to action, covering her until the bison moved away. After a trip to the Old Faithful Clinic, the woman was lucky: Her injuries were minor.

"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, Old Faithful District Ranger. "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."

Wild bison have called the region home since prehistoric times and almost 5,000 live there now. So far this summer, there have been five people injured after close encounters with bison in Yellowstone. "Bison can run three times faster than humans can sprint," Yellowstone reminded visitors.

Remember: If you love animals, don't chase them for a photo. It can be dangerous for all animals involved, human and beast.