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Bison severely injures woman in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota

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Bismarck, N.D. — A bison severely injured a Minnesota woman Saturday in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, the National Park Service said in a statement Tuesday.

Park officials reported she was in serious but stable condition after suffering "significant injuries to her abdomen and foot."

The woman was taken to a Fargo hospital after first being taken by ambulance to a hospital in Dickinson, about 30 miles east of Painted Canyon, a colorful Badlands vista popular with motorists, where she was injured at a trailhead.

The Park Service said the incident is under investigation and details about what happened aren't known.

National Park Bison Attack-North Dakota
May 2017 photo shows a bison grazing in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota.  Blake Nicholson / AP

There have been two such incidents within days of each other at national parks.

On Monday, a bison charged and gored a 47-year-old Phoenix woman in Yellowstone National Park. She sustained significant injuries to her chest and abdomen and was taken by helicopter to an Idaho Falls hospital. Officials said they didn't know how close she was to the bison before the attack but she  was with another person when they spotted two bison and turned and walked away. Still, one of the bison charged and gored her.

The Park Service said in the statement that, "Bison are large, powerful, and wild. They can turn quickly and can easily outrun humans. Bulls can be aggressive during the rutting (mating) season, mid-July through August. Use extra caution and give them additional space during this time.

"Park regulations require that visitors stay at least 25 yards (the length of two full-sized busses) away from large animals such as bison, elk, deer, pronghorn, and horses. If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in proximity."

Bison are the largest mammals in North America, according to the Department of Interior. Male bison, called bulls, weigh up to 2,000 pounds and stand 6 feet tall. Females, called cows, weigh up to 1,000 pounds and reach a height of 4-5 feet. Yellowstone is the only place in the U.S. where bison have continuously lived since prehistoric times.  

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