Expert says to give bison their space and distance

Jul 1, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: 8:09 pm
Two people have been gored by bison at Yellowstone National Park in less than a week. An expert at ...
Two people have been gored by bison at Yellowstone National Park in less than a week. An expert at Antelope Island State Park says it's important for people to give bison their space and distance. Photo credit: Kira Hoffelmeyer, KSL NewsRadio

SALT LAKE CITY — In wake of two people being gored by bison at Yellowstone National Park this week, an expert says people need to give bison plenty of space and distance.

“They’re not necessarily aggressive in general,” said Wendy Wilson, assistant park manager for Antelope Island State Park. “But when they feel threatened, that’s when they become aggressive because it’s a reaction to feeling threatened.”

Wilson says there have been a few human encounters with bison at Antelope Island State Park.

“It actually does happen at Antelope Island,” she said. “We’ve had a handful of bison encounters over the past four or five years.”

She says the reason why you hear about it at places such as Yellowstone is because of the size and popularity of the park.

“We probably hear about it more from Yellowstone, I think mainly is because they have 10 times as many visitors as we have,” she said. “So, there is more opportunity for bison encounters to go negative at bigger places like Yellowstone.”

Giving bison space and distance

Wilson says that bison have a bubble of safety.

“They are cautious and nervous around what they perceive to be a threat,” she said. “And humans, they perceive to be a threat.”

When around bison, Wilson recommends individuals stay 100 feet away. She says some bison have a bigger bubble of safety than others do.

Additionally, Wilson says to watch the animal for signs when you are around them.

“If they stop what they are doing to look at you,” she said. “That’s the first indication that you’re probably approaching that boundry.”

Furthermore, Wilson says if you continue to approach a bison, it will raise its tail as a warning sign.

Wilson says bison can run up to 40 miles per hour and can change directions quickly. She warns that humans can’t outrun a bison.

Read more:


Today’s Top Stories


Utah national parks no longer have a mask mandate...
Allie Litzinger

Number of visitors to Arches National Park is on the decline

Visitors to Arches National Park are on the decline in recent months. A time entry system designed to make for better visitor experience, may be to be blame for fewer visitors.
1 day ago
Cinnamon Creek...
Mark Jones

DWR celebrates Cinnamon Creek as its newest wildlife management area

Cinnamon Creek, on the border of Cache and Weber counties, is the newest DWR wildlife management area.
2 days ago
ZooLights amur tiger...
Mark Jones

Utah’s Hogle Zoo expanding east side with an all-Utah species exhibit

The new project expanding Utah's Hogle Zoo will include an all-Utah species exhibit. It is expected to be finished in 2023.
2 days ago
Two buck deer gaze in the direction of the camera Photo: Department of Wildlife Services...
Chandler Holt

Forest Service releases hunting and travel rules for Ashley National Forest

The Forest Service sent out a news release describing the big game hunting and travel rules for Ashley National Forest in 2022. 
2 days ago
poll utah County utah lake algal bloom...
Amie Schaeffer

Poll shows support in Utah County for the Utah Lake Restoration Project

A project developer said their poll shows that residents of Utah County support the Utah Lake Restoration Project.
2 days ago
Wasatch County Search and Rescue...
Mark Jones

Wasatch County Search and Rescue has a busy Saturday

Two separate calls for assistance on Saturday kept the Wasatch County Search and Rescue team busy. The team responded to calls near Blood Lake and the Lower Provo River.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Expert says to give bison their space and distance