Bison gores woman in Yellowstone's 3rd recent animal attack

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk at the World War II Memorial on the Mall in Washington in 2015

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk at the World War II Memorial on the Mall in Washington in 2015

Park officials could not say whether it was the same elk. They talked about a phone call he got this week from acting director of the National Park Service P. Daniel Smith.

Members of Yellowstone's maintenance department were disciplined previous year after an investigation found female employees faced sexual harassment and other problems. He said he wanted to stay that long to aid in a smooth transition.

If Zinke was concerned about overgrazing in the park, Wenk said he sought to answer it by suggesting science should be brought to the issue. "When an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space".

Over the past month, four people have been injured by wildlife in Yellowstone National Park, according to the release.

This incident is being investigated by Park staff; there is no word yet on whether the woman will be cited.

He said he will be replaced at Yellowstone by Cameron Sholly, who is now the head of the National Park Service's Omaha office. Vogel, in turn, was reassigned to Atlanta to head the Southeast Region.

Wenk could not immediately be reached by Reuters.

"There's been no discussion", he said.

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Zinke is a former Montana congressman.

"I think we're more probably, definitely more aware of it". He said he's heard Zinke talk about employees not being loyal to the Interior Department. There was another attack in 2017, none in 2016 and five in 2015.

"And I'm 66 years old".

"There is a pretty strong, nearly militaristic hierarchy that seems to be in place that's kind of tinged by the expectation of loyalty associated with it", he said.

"Nobody has even been nominated by the White House for that position", he noted. But Wenk also said that loyalty is a two-way street. He was open to controlling visitation and Iobst said that ruffled feathers among some nearby businesses who make their money off the millions of people who visit Yellowstone each year.

"I feel this is a punitive action but I don't know for sure", Wenk told The Associated Press. "Dan Wenk has worked effectively under Democrats and Republicans and been recognized for his dedication to the NPS mission, his ability to deliver on complex issues and his willingness to work across political divides".

Interior Department spokeswoman Heather Swift did not respond to a request for comment about criticism leveled at the secretary and declined to directly respond to Wenk's belief his removal from the park was a form of punishment.

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