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As Bison Charged, Woman Tripped

Montana woman escapes 'without a scratch' after playing dead
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2020 8:41 AM CDT

A woman narrowly escaped a charging bison at Yellowstone National Park, apparently by playing dead. A video viewed more than 1.7 million times since it was shared on YouTube on Friday shows a man and woman running from a pair of charging bison. One bison appears to slow, but the other speeds up. At the same time, the woman trips and falls. It's a terrifying moment. But the charging bison suddenly comes to a halt over the motionless woman. While an onlooker appears to search for a stick to use as a weapon, others scream for the woman to "play dead." After 20 agonizing seconds of sniffing, the bison turns and runs away and a man helps the woman to her feet.

Cloie Musumecci shared the video with KRTV, saying it was filmed at Wyoming's Nez Perce Creek. She identified the woman as a Montana native who "knew to play dead in that situation." She added she escaped "without a scratch." It's unclear if the visitors had gotten too close to the bison, which can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and run up to 35 miles per hour, per USA Today. "To be safe around bison, stay at least 25 yards away, move away if they approach, and run away or find cover if they charge," the National Park Service says. Aggressive behaviors include snorting, pawing the ground, bobbing their head, and raising their tail, per Today. (A woman was gored in the park just last month.)

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