May 21 (UPI) -- A bison attacked a woman at Yellowstone National Park a couple of days after the park started a phased reopening from closure since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The attack occurred Wednesday afternoon in the Old Faithful Upper Geyser Basin after the woman got too close to the animal, the National Park Service said in a statement.
"A female visitor was knocked to the ground and injured" when she got within 25 yards of the bison, according to the NPS. Park emergency medical providers responded immediately and assessed the woman, who refused transport to a medical facility.
The NPS said the incident is pending investigation and no additional information is available.
"When an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space," the NPS said in the statement. "Stay 25 yards away from all large animals -- bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes -- and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves. If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity."
Yellowstone National Park began its first phase of a three-phased reopening plan Monday since shutting down on March 24 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first phase includes opening of the South and East entrances in Wyoming, and access to restrooms, self-service gas stations, trails and boardwalks. The Montana North, West, and Northeast entrances remain closed until later phases of the plan. Commercial tour buses, campgrounds, hotels, boating, fishing, visitor centers, takeout food service, expanded tours, visitor cabins, full-service dining and ranger programs also remain closed until later phases of the plan.
Yellowstone National Park is among national parks and recreation areas starting to reopen across the country ahead of Memorial Day weekend following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local officials.
The CDC recommends staying at least 6 feet away from other people and not visiting a park if you are sick.