Woman trips while running from charging bison at Yellowstone, 'plays dead' to avoid attack

An alarming new video shows a person lying motionless in the grass as a massive bison stands over her.
/ Source: TODAY

A woman's recent trip to Yellowstone National Park nearly turned nightmarish after a close encounter with a bison, a new video shows.

In a frightening bystander video taken on Friday, two unidentified visitors stand in the middle of large field when a bison several feet away starts charging at them. One outruns the beast, but the other trips and falls.

"Play dead, play dead," voices off camera shout as the animal slows down and approaches the woman on the ground. She appears to lie still as the bison stands over her. After several moments, it gallops away, and the other visitor returns and helps her up.

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According to local MTN News, incident took place on Friday at Nez Perce Creek in the Wyoming portion of Yellowstone, which spans neighboring Montana and Idaho.

Cloie Musumecci, who said she took the video, told the station that the women who fell was a Montana local, so she knew to "play dead in that situation." The woman survived "without a scratch," she added.

A spokesperson for Yellowstone said in an email the park did not have a comment on the incident.

NBC News was in touch with Musumecci's mother, who said she was also at the scene, but the family wasn't immediately available for comment.

Several dangerous encounters with bison have captured national attention in recent years.

Last month, a 72-year-old California woman at Yellowstone was trying to take photos of a bison and ended up getting gored. Park officials said she approached the animal within 10 feet several times.

In June 2019, a 9-year-old girl at the park was tossed into the air by a charging bison after she and a group of others got too close. A month later, a Colorado teen was gored in the leg by a bison at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.

Yellowstone has cautioned visitors to stay at least 25 yards away from wild animals like bison and elk.

"Bison are wild animals that respond to threats by displaying aggressive behaviors like pawing the ground, snorting, bobbing their head, bellowing and raising their tail," Yellowstone bison biologist Chris Geremia said in the statement. "If that doesn’t make the threat (in this instance it was a person) move away, a threatened bison may charge."