Man drowns in Great Smoky Mountains National Park trying to save juvenile

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Man drowns in Great Smoky Mountains National Park trying to save juvenile

A man who jumped into the Oconaluftee River in Cherokee, NC to save a juvenile family member died on Saturday, park rangers say. Witnesses report that 32-year-old Bulmaro Morales of Dudley, North Carolina jumped into the river to save a young family member who was drowning. When rangers arrived, the juvenile was safely on shore, but Morales had not resurfaced.

Rangers and bystanders searched for Morales. He was found unresponsive in water 10-feet deep. Cherokee EMS and Cherokee Fire and Rescue responded to the scene, but lifesaving efforts were not effective. 

72-year-old gored by bison in Yellowstone National Park while trying to take a picture

A 72-year-old woman from California was gored by a bison multiple times after she approached within 10 feet of the animal to take a photo. The incident occurred at the woman’s campsite at Bridge Bay Campground in Yellowstone National Park. Rangers responded to the incident and provided immediate medical care. The woman was then flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. 

“The series of events that led to the goring suggest the bison was threatened by being repeatedly approached to within 10 feet,” Yellowstone’s Senior Bison Biologist Chris Geremia said in a news release. “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. If that doesn’t make the threat go away, a threatened bison may charge. 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.” 

Photo: part of Oconaluftee River on Highway 441 – courtesy of Getty Images

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