(CALIFORNIA) — Yosemite National Park officials warned visitors not to feed or approach wildlife after a girl was attacked by a buck.
The girl, whose identity has not been made public, was approaching a deer being fed by other visitors when the animal became spooked and charged her with his antlers, the park service said on Wednesday.
She was taken to Yosemite Medical Clinic to be treated for deep wounds on her arm and chest lacerations, officials said.
“It is illegal to feed or approach wildlife in Yosemite! While some animals, including deer, might get used to people approaching them, they spook easily and will defend themselves if people get too close or startle them,” officials posted on Wednesday.
Earlier this year, another National Park visitor was sentenced to four days in jail for willfully remaining, approaching and photographing wildlife within 100 yards, according to an October press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Samantha R. Dehring was at Roaring Mountain in Yellowstone National Park on May 10, 2021, when visitors noticed a grizzly bear and her three cubs. While other visitors backed away, Dehring remained and continued to take pictures until the adult bear charged her.
“Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park are, indeed, wild. The park is not a zoo where animals can be viewed within the safety of a fenced enclosure. They roam freely in their natural habitat and when threatened will react accordingly,” said U.S. Attorney Bob Murray in the press release. “Approaching a sow grizzly with cubs is absolutely foolish. Here, pure luck is why Dehring is a criminal defendant and not a mauled tourist.”
Dehring pled guilty and was sentenced to four days in custody with a year of unsupervised probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.
In addition, she was ordered to make a $1,000 community service payment to Yellowstone Forever Wildlife Protection Fundt, according to the press release.
Dehring was banned from Yellowstone National Park for a year.
Yosemite officials on Wednesday urged visitors to stay away from wild animals.
“Please, for the protection of these wild animals and for the safety of all visitors, always keep your distance!” they said. “This is not how we want anyone’s visit to Yosemite to end.”
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