Unlucky tourist regrets harassing giant bison at Yellowstone


Bison are responsible for more injuries to people than any other animal at Yellowstone National Park, including wolves and bears, but for some reason visitors consistently underestimate the power of these huge, powerful creatures.

Perhaps it’s their passing similarity to domestic cattle, or maybe it’s their thick fur, but some tourists just can’t resist trying to snap a close-up photo or even pet them.

This isn’t a new phenomenon, though. A vintage video clip (presumably shot on a camcorder) is currently circulating on social media showing a visitor attempting exactly the same thing back in the 1980s.

The footage, shared by infamous Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone, shows a person approaching a particularly huge bison, camera in hand, and trying to snap some close-up photos.

The animal takes exception to this intrusion on its personal space and charges, sending the visitor running and ultimately sprawling as they trip in their hurry to escape. Amazingly though, this doesn’t stop them, and they continue to take pictures from their new vantage point on the ground.

Bison usually prefer to avoid close encounters with people, and will generally leave an area first, but like all wild animals they are unpredictable and can become aggressive if they or their young are threatened. According to the NPS, they can run three times faster than humans, and have injured more people at Yellowstone than any other animal.

“Give bison space when they are near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area,” the NPS says. “If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity.”

Last year, a woman shared a video of herself being gored by a bison after trying to sneak past the animal rather than take a detour. Rebecca Clark was hiking solo when the animal charged, leaving her with a serious puncture wound to her back. She posted the video online while recovering as a warning to others who might be tempted to take a similar risk.

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This article by Cat Ellis was first published by Advnture on 11 December 2023. Lead Image: (Image credit: Getty).


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