Man Gets Within Feet of Yellowstone National Park Bison: ‘One of the Dumbest Things I’ve Ever Done’

by Victoria Santiago

A visitor to Yellowstone National Park got a little too close to a bison earlier this year. While majestic, it’s dangerous to get too close to them. Jason Quick was one of a few people that ran towards the bison they saw on a road going through the park. Cars are seen driving around the bison. Thankfully, he doesn’t seem to be holding up traffic too bad. The view is beautiful. On one side of the road there’s a bank covered with trees and on the other side is an expansive body of water. The view is breathtaking. On top of all that, you’ve got a huge animal standing in the middle of the road. The sight is jaw-dropping.

Understandably, you might feel the need to get a closer look at one of Yellowstone’s iconic bison. They are truly a population like no other. However, it’s very dangerous to get as close as Quick did in the video below. When he uploaded the clip to YouTube, he added his own warning: “Do. Not. Get this close to a Bison. Ever. This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done, and that’s saying a lot.”

Quick can be seen running closer to the bison before he gets within a few feet of the animal. The bison turns towards him, and this is when Quick realizes he may have made a mistake. The YouTuber raises his hands and backs away from the animal. The bison continues on his way.

Approaching the Bison of Yellowstone National Park

Newsweek asked the Yellowstone National Park Service how to correctly handle animal encounters inside the park. “Give the animals space and never approach wildlife. The animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be,” a spokesperson for the park said. “The safest (and often best) view of wildlife is from inside a car. Always stay at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all other animals, including bison and elk.”

Bison can get quite large – they can grow to be 6.5 feet tall and weigh around 2,000 pounds. Millions of them once lived across the plains of North America but were hunted in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were hunted so often that they almost reached the brink of extinction.

Thanks to conservation efforts, their numbers have replenished a bit. Nowhere near what they originally were, though. Some 30,000 bison live freely on public and private land now, whilst hundreds of thousands of the animals are raised as livestock.

Today, Yellowstone National Park is home to around 2,500-3,000 bison. The bison are split between two herds: a “Northern Herd” and a “Central Herd.”