VIDEO: Watch as this group of adults lead themselves – and their children – directly into a Yellowstone National Park bison herd.
When it comes to Yellowstone’s ballooning tourist/wildlife problem, things will have to get worse before they get better. As visitors continue to approach bison, more and more dangerous incidents are occurring.
Today, that comes in the form of “A whole group of children and parents/guardians ignoring wildlife distancing,” says Richard Midgette, an IT specialist for the national park. Richard was driving through the park recently when he spotted the group marching directly into bison as they graze. “No bison were harmed, but many many brain cells were,” he adds in his caption for the Yellowstone National Park: Invasion of the Idiots Facebook group.
His words in the video, said as he filmed in disbelief, are more direct. “Could they be any dumber?” Richard asks the person riding with him. “People don’t understand these are wild frickin’ animals.”
They sure don’t, Richard. They sure don’t. See for yourself, Outsiders:
Yet Richard isn’t just mad at these people for their willful ignorance. The deep concern and fear is also evident in his voice. He knows exactly what could happen to these people – and their children – at any moment.
So far this busy season, three people have been gored by bison on the books. Off the books, even more incidents have occurred. And bison will continue to put tourists in the hospital until they learn how to obey Yellowstone National Park wildlife regulations.
Yellowstone Is Wild, Not A Playground
“Bison are wild animals and if they are approached, they can be dangerous,” Morgan Warthin, spokesperson for Yellowstone, tells Wyoming’s Cowboy State Daily of the incident. “Most of the time visitors are approaching bison inadvertently. But if approached, they’ll move towards the visitor, basically to say to the visitor, ‘Move out of the way.’”
This is painfully evident in the most publicized goring of the season. Within, a father is gored by a bison as he attempts to move his family away. After leading them entirely too close to the bison, the wild animal perceives them as a threat and charges.
According to Warthin, a bystander then discharged bear spray in an effort to deter the bison. But this is not something she, nor any advocate or official of the park, recommends.
“We’re not advocating for visitors to use bear spray on bison, especially in the front country,” she adds. “Just because of the risk that could pose to other visitors.”
There’s also no evidence to support bear spray stopping an angry, 2,000-pound herbivore from running a person over.
So Remember, Yellowstone National Park’s Wildlife Regulations Read:
Yellowstone Park regulations require visitors to maintain a 25-yard, or 23-meter, distance from all large animals at all times. This includes bison, elk, bighorn sheep, moose, deer, and coyotes.
Visitors are to keep a 100 yard, or 91 meter, distance from large predators: wolves, brown bears, and black bears.YELL regulations
For more on park wildlife safety, please see our Yellowstone National Park Wildlife: Animals You’ll Spot, Where to Best View Bison, Bears, Elk, Wolves, and Wildlife Safety next.