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Tuesday, 16 July, 2002, 11:40 GMT 12:40 UK
Gored American faces second charge
Bison
Bison are big - and they can run faster than you
Criminal charges are pending at a United States national park, after a visitor was gored by a bison.

But it is Paul Jocelyn, who suffered a puncture wound in his right thigh, who is facing a court summons, rather than the bison.


Park officials remind all visitors that bison are more dangerous than they first appear

Yellowstone National Park
The 37-year-old visitor, from Albertville, Minnesota, faces prosecution for harrassing wildlife, after he allegedly came too near the animal, at Yellowstone National Park.

It is against the law to come within 25 metres of wildlife.

Mr Jocelyn was with a group of visitors, who allegedly went within five metres of the bull bison, as it was grazing near the park's most famous attraction, the Old Faithful Geyser.

He then made the additional mistake of walking around the bison to see if it would raise its head for a photograph.

The bison's response was to pursue Mr Jocelyn into a nearby wood, where it tossed him in the air.

Shortly afterwards, the bison resumed grazing.

Repeat performance

It is the second such incident in less than a month.

In late June, a visitor from Texas failed to step off a path in the same area when a bison was approaching.

As the bison passed the man, it lowered its head and pushed him off the path, wounding him in the leg.

Bison were almost hunted to extinction in the 19th century, as the western US opened up and prairies were turned into farmland.

There are now about 3,500 bison in Yellowstone Park, and they are no longer an endangered species.

Park officials frequently remind visitors of the dangers of approaching any wild animals.

However, there is one comfort for anyone who tangles with a bison. For all their bulk, they are strictly vegetarian.

See also:

22 Aug 99 | Americas
23 Jan 98 | In Depth
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