Visiting Antelope Island? Heed these wildlife safety tips

Jun 3, 2022, 6:00 PM

Bison at Antelope Island State Park. Photo credit: Utah State Parks...

Bison at Antelope Island State Park. Photo credit: Utah State Parks

SALT LAKE CITY — This week, a 25-year-old woman from Ohio got too close to a bison at Yellowstone National Park. She was thrown 10 feet in the air and hospitalized with a puncture wound.

Reportedly, the woman was on one of the boardwalks that surround the piping hot natural features of Yellowstone when the bison gored her.  It seems she did at least one thing right, by staying on the boardwalk. 

But she made at least one mistake that anyone visiting Antelope Island State Park in Davis County, where a large herd of free-range bison makes themselves at home, should keep in mind.

The bison roam on Antelope Island

In 2021, Antelope Island State Park hosted over one million visitors, and Utah State Parks officials say the trend of more people heading to state parks is on the rise.

Devan Chavez with Utah State Parks says that for the most part, visitors know the best practices that can help keep them safe around the bison that number between 500 and 750 on any given year.

“How they react might not be how one would expect a bison to react,” Chavez told the Dave and Dujanovic Show on KSL NewsRadio. (Think of the bison lowering its head, or digging the ground with its forelegs.)

But really, if you see a bison and it stops what it’s doing and starts paying attention to you? Right there, that already means you’re too close and you need to slowly start backing away.”

Male bison can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. They can stand six feet tall. And on Antelope Island they are free-roaming, so there’s no fence holding them back or keeping them away from visitors.

In other words, they’re not in a zoo. They are wild animals. 

“And they will react to people who are harassing them or infringing on them in any way,” Chavez said.

That’s why, if the herd is blocking a road at Antelope Island State Park, visitors are warned to just stay in their cars and let the animals clear from the road at their own pace.

“I mean, how many places can you go in the United States still where you can have that be an issue?” Chavez said. 

In other words, waiting in your car for bison to cross the road is a unique experience. A “memory-making” experience for you and the kids.

Chavez says there have been a couple of gorings at Antelope Island State Park in recent years and he calls it an uncommon experience. Investigate these safety tips provided by Utah State Parks to keep it that way.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned a 2017 ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semi-a...

Devin Oldroyd

Supreme Court overturns ban on bump stocks Friday

The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned a 2017 ban on bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semi-automatic firearms to rapid fire.

2 minutes ago

Image of GOP primary candidates for Utah's 1st Congressional District, Paul Miller (left) and the i...

Curt Gresseth

Utah’s GOP primary: Miller challenging Moore in 1st District

In the Republican primary, Paul Miller is challenging incumbent Rep. Blake Moore for Utah's 1st Congressional District.

41 minutes ago

As the push to the Republican primary election for U.S. Senate heats up, one candidate appears to ...

Daniel Woodruff,

Brad Wilson appears to be pulling back in U.S. Senate race

As the push to the Republican primary election for U.S. Senate heats up, Brad Wilson appears to be slowing down.

1 hour ago

Like their namesakes in the desert west, the ice cowboys of Canada are in the midst of the annual r...

Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Hot enough for ya, cowboy?

In the brittle cold Maritime provinces, the perpetual clouds are parting for a month or two, and the ice cowboys are going to work.

2 hours ago

Bryonia, also known as bryony, is a weed that is part of the cucumber family. It looks very similar...

Michelle Lee

How to control the noxious bryonia weed

Do you have bryonia creeping up in your yard? If you do, be very careful because this white poisonous weed can be extremely noxious. Here are some tips on how to identify and control it.

3 hours ago

On July of 2024, The Sundance Institute is bringing back to Utah the Sundance Film Festival films w...

Esme Sanchez Estevez

Free Sundance summer screenings return to Utah

Free Sundance Film summer screenings will be held in Park City, Salt Lake City, and West Valley City. 

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Visiting Antelope Island? Heed these wildlife safety tips