A recent visitor to Custer State Park in western South Dakota was gored by a bison after the visitor came up and patted it on the head. That person was life-flighted to a Rapid City hospital. Another incident at the park had a visitor knocked to the ground when they approached a bison.

Then there was that incident in Yellowstone recently where a baby bison had to be euthanized after the herd rejected it because some people thought it looked cold and put it in their vehicle.

So, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks wants to remind all visitors entering Custer State Park this season that bison are dangerous and should not be approached.

“Custer State Park has experienced an increase in visitor/buffalo interactions with the start of our busy travel season,” stated Lydia Austin, interpretive program manager for Custer State Park. “Visitors need to know that buffalo are dangerous and should not be approached. These large animals may appear docile, but they are wild and unpredictable. The safest place to view them is from a vehicle.”

Also, remember they aren't stray cats that need rescuing.

“Buffalo are very fickle this time of year as it is calving season and mothers can be very defensive. Visitors are also reminded to leave the baby buffalo alone. They have not been abandoned and can handle the natural elements very well. The park herd manager keeps a close eye on all of the park buffalo,” concluded Austin.

Watch them, eat them, but don't touch them.

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