Shocking video footage has emerged capturing the moment a young girl was charged and thrown into the air by a bison in Yellowstone National Park.
The nine-year-old girl, a member of a group of some 50 tourists walking through the park, was charged by the bison, thought to be a male bull, after the group reportedly came within two metres of the animal.
Video of the incident shows a group of tourists walking past the animal as it grazes. Moments later, it charges, forcing the group of walkers to flee, before making contact with a young girl who is thrown off her feet.
The force of the impact causes her to somersault in mid-air before landing.
According to Park officials, the girl was taken to a medical clinic by emergency personnel before being discharged. Officials did not disclose the extent of her injuries; however, it has been reported the girl was not seriously injured.
The US National Park Service has cautioned visitors against approaching wild animals.
“Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park are wild. When an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space,” it warned in a statement.
“If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity.”
The American bison is a near-threatened species of bovine animal, once prolific across the North American continent. Male bison are capable of reaching nearly 1,000 kilograms in weight, and of running at speeds of up to 60 kilometres per hour.