Bison attack and injure visitors at Yellowstone National Park more than other animal. According to a 2018 study, photography was the most common reason for bison charging at people between 2000 and 2015.
However, visitors at the park have suffered injuries, and also encountered death in other incidents, including: falling into geysers and being attacked by bears.
Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park are wild and can be dangerous when approached. When an animal is near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, it is advised to give it space and to stay at least 25 yards (23 meters) away from the animals.
Visitors are also warned of staying away from hot springs, with at least 22 people having died from related incidents in and around Yellowstone since 180, according to the park.
1. MAN FALLS INTO HOT SPRING
Colin Scott, 23, and of Portand, Oregon, had been looking for a place to ‘hot pot’ – a term for soaking in the park’s natural thermal features – in the summer of 2013.
His sister Sable Scott said that she and her brother left the boardwalk near Pork Chop Geyser, according to a report on the incident.
While she filmed video with her phone, her brother reached down to check the water temperature but accidentally ‘slipped and fell’ into the scalding pool, she said.
Search and rescue rangers spotted his body in the pool on the day of the accident, but a lightning storm prevented their rescue efforts. By the following day, workers were unable to find any remains.
Deputies called the area where the accident happened – the Norris Geyser basin – ‘very dangerous’ with boiling acidic waters. Colin and Sable Scott left the boardwalk and walked several hundred feet up a hill.
The accident occurred in the hottest, oldest and most volatile area of Yellowstone, where boiling water flows just beneath a think rock crust.
Previous geological surveys found the water under the surface to measure more than 400 degrees. Water temperatures there can reach 199 degrees Fahrenheit – the boiling point for water at the park’s high elevation.
Scott is pictured at his recent graduation
2. ELDERLY WOMAN GORED
Another woman, from California, was repeatedly gored by a wild bison at Yellowstone National Park in 2020.
The 72-year-old – who has not been publicly identified – was attacked at the Bridge Bay Campground campsite after she approached the wild animal to try and snap a photograph.
The woman was immediately tended to by park rangers before she was flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center via helicopter for further treatment.
A press release from the National Park Service stated that the women came within 10 feet of the bison before she was gored.
‘To be safe around bison, stay at least 25 yards away, move away if they approach, and run away or find cover if they charge,’ the park’s Senior Bison Biologist Chris Geremia is quoted as saying in an statement from back then.
3. MAN KILLED BY BEAR
A father-of-four was killed in a suspected grizzly bear attack after his remains were discovered by a search party near Yellowstone National Park in Montana in March of this year.
The remains of Craig Clouatre, 40, of Livingston, were discovered by Park County Search and Rescue near Yellowstone National Park.
Clouatre went missing after hiking in the Six Mile Creek area of Paradise Valley, according to The Living Enterprise. The mountains in the area rise steeply above the Yellowstone River as it passes through the Paradise Valley.
Clouatre had gone hiking with a friend but the pair split up, possibly to hunt for antlers.
Pictured: Craig Clouatre, 40, of Livingston, reportedly went missing after hiking in the Six Mile Creek area of Paradise Valley on Wednesday
Pictured: the location of the deadly grizzly attack that reportedly took Clouatre’s life in relation to Yellowstone National Park
Since 2010, grizzlies in the Yellowstone region have killed at least eight people.
Among them was a backcountry guide killed by a bear last year along Yellowstone’s western border. Guide Charles ‘Carl’ Mock was killed in April after being mauled by a 400-plus pound male grizzly while fishing alone at a favorite spot on Montana´s Madison River, where it spills out of the park.
Grizzlies are protected under federal law outside Alaska. Elected officials in the Yellowstone region are pushing to lift protections and allow grizzly hunting.
The Yellowstone region spanning portions of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming has more than 700 bears.
4. WOMAN JUMPS INTO HOT SPRING TO SAVE PET
Laiha Slayton, 20, was horrifically burned after jumping into a 190-degree Yellowstone geyser to try and save her puppy – Shih Tzu – in October 2021.
She was initially put in a medically-induced coma at an Idaho hospital right after the October 5 incident. It remains unclear if she still is, as of Wednesday.
Laiha and her father, Woodrow, briefly stopped for a visit at Yellowstone National Park and had parked 20-30 yards away from Maiden’s Grave Spring, next to the Firehole River, according to the vicitm’s sister – Kamilla.
The family’s two Shih Tzus, Rusty and Chevy, had gotten out of the car and were wandering around nearby while Slayton was looking for their leashes in the car.
Rusty suddenly got his foot burned by a small leak from the geyser that flows into the river. The dog then panicked and fell in to the spring while Woodrow was trying to gain control of Chevy.
Laiha jumped in to the thermal spring – which can reach temperatures of 190-degree Fahrenheit – in a bid to rescue her one-year-old puppy, and then had to be rescued herself by her father.
Woodrow, 48, pulled his daughter out of the scalding water after just eight seconds.
Woodrow — although injured — drove Laiha to West Yellowstone, Montana, to seek help, from where she was flown by helicopter to the burn unit at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls.
As a result from the fall, Laiha’s body is 90 percent covered with severe burns – half of which are third-degree, with the remainder second-degree.
Laiha Slayton was scalded in a Yellowstone geyster in October of last year, and has suffered second and third-degree burns to 90 percent of her body
Rusty, the Shih Tzu puppy, was taken to a veterinarian but did not survive from its wounds
Maiden’s Grave Hot Spring flowing into the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park, where Laiha and her dog reportedly fell into and suffered burns on October 5th
The incident happened at Maiden’s Grave Spring, north of the famous Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone Park, Wyoming
Laiha (pictured) was taken to hospital in Idaho by helicopter after her father drove her to West Yellowstone, Montana, to seek help