It’s like Yellowstone National Park never closed down — a bison attack on Monday shows things are back to normal in the nation’s oldest national park.
A 34-year-old man from Colorado Springs, Colorado was gored by a bison on Monday near Old Faithful and according to one eyewitness who filmed the incident, the tourist brought it on himself.
“The dad and the kid were just walking up to the bison when the bison took off,” Rob Goodell told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday.
“Anyone who says that the bison just attacked that guy or whatever, that’s bullshit. The bison was just protecting his ground,” he said.
The National Park Service confirmed the attack in a press release distributed late Tuesday. They agreed with Goodell’s perspective.
“Family members did not leave the area, and the bull bison continued to charge and gored the male,” the agency said.
Goodell, from Flowery Branch, Georgia, said he was on his first trip to Yellowstone on Monday and was hoping to see something interesting.
“I didn’t get to see a bear but I don’t care now,” he said.
Goodell said he was watching the family closely because of their proximity to the bison and the fact that they stuck around when the bison came so close to them.
He said he didn’t start filming before it escalated. What the video doesn’t show, he said, is that the family had time to move away from the area. But they just stuck around, he said.
“I didn’t even say anything during the entire video because I just assumed that guy was going to get murdered,” Goodell said. “It was like holy crap, this is crazy.”
The man, who appeared to be holding his son, was lifted up off the ground with the little boy when the bison hit him.
After both landed, the boy can be seen running with his father close behind.
Although it can’t be seen in the video, Goodell said he believed the man was injured.
“The father literally looked like his shoulder was dislocated,” he said. “It was just hanging off his body.”
Toward the end of the video, another man could be seen unleashing some bear spray at the bison, which the bison immediately ignored and just walked through.
Goodell said he spoke to a park ranger about the incident and filed an incident report. He also shared the video with the rangers, he said.
The National Park Service acknowledged an incident occurred yesterday but said rangers were still gathering information on it.