Until people learn, the hits will just keep on coming from Yellowstone National Park.
In today’s episode of “lucky to be alive,” we’re straight back to Yellowstone, America’s first and one of its wildest national parks. Yellowstone’s thousands of bison are wildlife; wild animals with perhaps the purest wild heritage left on the continent. Yet park visitors continue to approach these 1-ton hulking herbivores as if they’re to be cuddled. They are not. Please don’t.
On May 30, the park had its first bison goring of the year after a tourist came entirely too close to a bison. Not a month later on June 27, a man was gored by a bison after his family failed to exit the wild animal’s vicinity. The footage from this second encounter is a brutal watch. Unfortunately, both of these incidents led to the visitors being hospitalized.
And yet here we are with a tourist standing feet away from a bison with their iPad aimed at its forehead within days of said goring:
If you’re familiar with Yellowstone National Park, though, this event is wholly unsurprising. Visitors ignore park regulations and approach park bison on a daily basis. The only reason we’re not hearing of daily hospitalizations is because the majority of bison have developed a higher human tolerance. Which, in itself, is actually not a good thing.
Yellowstone National Park Visitor Exits RV, Walks Straight Up to Bison
As for this latest encounter, the images come from Yellowstone visitor Kevin Brown. From the safety of his vehicle, Brown photographed the woman leaving her RV to walk within feet of the bison. Another of Brown’s images, shared with USA’s FTW, shows her turning her back to the bison after taking its photo. Ah, willful ignorance.
Yellowstone National Park regulations are clear: Park regulations require visitors to stay more than 25 yards (23 meters) away from all large animals. This includes bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes.
So say it with us, random RV lady: “Wildlife in Yellowstone are wild, period.”
Any and all wildlife can be dangerous when approached. The park also asks that if an animal is near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space. If wildlife enters the space you are in, maintain eye contact and back out of the vicinity, or enter your vehicle or a shelter. It’s that simple!
If you’re still looking for a powerful (and we do mean powerful) reminder, however, here you go. Again, this June footage of a bison goring is intense. But the social media comments targeting the “touron” may be even moreso.
Please be safe out there, Outsiders. For more on Yellowstone National Park’s wildlife and wildlife regulations, see our extensive guide to the park here.