When it comes to bison attacks, South Dakota’s Custer State Park is hallowed ground.
After all, it was here where a woman made international news for not only getting flipped by a bison but getting de-pantsed at the same time.
This is the Wimbledon for bison incidents.
So to make news on this surface is an achievement.
A woman did it last week but her bison incident was eclipsed by the historic floods of Yellowstone National Park, coincidentally another top venue for bison attacks.
Sadly, little is known. No photos have surfaced. No videos. Online chatter is minimal.
Custer State Park officials report that a woman was hospitalized after a bison charged her after being surprised by the woman’s dog.
She was then taken to a hospital, a spokesperson said.
The woman was hiking near the Wildlife Loop Road when her dog crested a hill which spooked a small herd of bison.
“One of the bulls charged the dog and hit the female visitor,” said park spokeswoman Lydia Austin.
Austin went on to use all the cautionary language that is so often ignored by visitors to parks whose attractions include ill-tempered animals who often weigh in at around 2,000 pounds.
“We hope this serves as a good reminder to always be aware of your surroundings, and give animals their space when possible,” she said.
The extent of the woman’s injuries is unknown.
Nor is it known if this was the same bison which was involved in the infamous depantsing incident of two years ago.
It’s unlikely as there are an estimated 1,400 free roaming bison in the park.
But perhaps like bears that tend to gravitate toward human food once they taste it, perhaps bison who flip people could be more prone to repeating that process.
It’s a fabulous theory but an unlikely one, said noted Wyoming outdoorsman Paul Ulrich.
“Although I suspect it’s simply the age-old mistake of getting too close to a bison, I truly hope that it is the same bison,” UIrich said. “Perhaps the bison has developed a kind of spidey-sense.”
Calls to Custer State Park to discuss the bison incident or the likelihood of the offender being the same bison were not returned.