This latest footage out of Yellowstone National Park shows what happens when a person sticks their phone in the face of a 2,000 pound bison bull.
Thankfully, no one was severely injured during this incident. But as Russ Bjorn’s footage submitted to Tourons of Yellowstone shows, a woman was given a severe warning by this bull.
In the video, shared May 21 on their popular Instagram, the woman is standing directly in front of the bison’s head. Her feet are on the boardwalk and the bull’s hooves are in the grass. Standing mere inches from the wild animal, the woman then reaches out to attempt to touch his face. And the bull retaliates.
Throwing his weight into his horns, the bull immediately gores her hand, hooking her arm and thrashing several times before she is able to stumble free and run. Screams break out, the woman falls, and is lucky to walk away from the incident.
She is, by all accounts, incredibly lucky this bison chose to warn her instead of kill her:
In short, the footage illustrates “the consequences of a bison selfie attempt,” Tourons of Yellowstone says, adding that visitors should “always be bison aware!”
This “consequential” footage is also a stark reminder of why all visitors are required to give wildlife of any kind space in any setting. While we may do our part and stay on boardwalks, wildlife are wild and will do as they please.
Bison often approach, cross, and use boardwalks in Yellowstone National Park. And when they do, it is imperative to back away slowly and continue doing so until the animal is given at least 25 yards of distance. Failure to do so can result in severe injury or death.
Yellowstone National Park is bison country, period.
In another recent video from the park, visitors did their part to give bison space. Within, an enormous bison bull shatters a boardwalk beneath his hooves. More of his kin followed, but the first loud, intense sound you hear in that Yellowstone bison video is, in fact, the boardwalk’s large boards snapping under the immense bull.
“Yellowstone bison can be very dangerous up close. However, in this moment, they were simply trying to cross the boardwalk. They wanted nothing to do with the surrounding people,” said visitor Adam Nigels of his footage.
Nigels also noted how pleased he was to see, for once, all visitors keeping the proper distance from bison. If we don’t, we run the risk of ending up like this truck tire.
In Yellowstone National Park, visitors must keep a minimum distance of 25 yards between themselves and wildlife at all times. This ncludes bison and elk. Predators like bears and wolves require a far greater 100 yards.
Failure to do so can result in steep fines and jail time. But again, it can also end in severe injury or death. In 2022, three severe Yellowstone bison gorings happened within a month of each other. All visitors were lucky to live, with some requiring life-altering surgery.
For more on park wildlife (and relevant safety), see our Yellowstone National Park Wildlife Breakdown next.