HomeOutdoorsViralInsane Video Shows Yellowstone Bison Charging Selfie-Taking Tourist

Insane Video Shows Yellowstone Bison Charging Selfie-Taking Tourist

by Jon D. B.
tourists watch bison in Yellowstone National Park
Visitors watch bison and their newborns as they cross the road in Yellowstone National Park on June 8,2021. Yellowstone is seeing a record number of visitors since all entrances were open for the 2021 tourist season. (Photo by William Campbell/Getty Images)

Want to feel your life flash before your eyes? Watch as this tourists turns her back to a Yellowstone bison only to have him charge.

It happens all the time: some Yellowstone National Park “touron” treating wildlife like it’s yard art. Few incidents are this harrowing, however. As this woman approaches an astoundingly large bull bison, she turns her back to get that coveted selfie. And turning your back is as close to universal-wildlife-language for “I am now a target” as anything.

Just when you think she’s learned her lesson, she gets back up to do it again! In fact, this woman repeatedly chastises the bison for “misbehaving” while she’s galavanting around his wild habitat. It’s remarkable, really:

Woman tried to take selfie with a buffalo in Yellowstone and gets charged. Recording date August 28, 2016.

Luke Vonderharr

In all seriousness, it is tragic how common this is. These instances are from the last month alone:

And that’s just with bison. Elk and other megafauna are just as dangerous (especially the predators such as bears). It is incredibly fortunate, however, how few fatalities and injuries there are as a result of these incidents. But it is also imperative to know that wildlife fatalities occur yearly in Yellowstone National Park, and their safety regulations remain paramount as a result.

Bison & Wildlife Safety in Yellowstone National Park

The basic rule of thumb in Yellowstone is this: Never approach or feed wildlife. The animals in the park are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be. The safest (and often best) view of wildlife is from inside a car.

The base park regulation is this: 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.

This is not simply advice, either. It is a law enforced by the national park; one punishable by steep fines, banning from the park, and even jail time.

Where bison are concerned, that 100 yard rule can be hard to judge in person, though. To know if you are the proper distance away, hold up your thumb to where the bison is. If you can cover up the entire animal with your thumb, you’re far enough away. If you’re thinking “there’s no way I can cover this entire animal with my thumb,” however, then you are far too close already.

And bison will approach you, too. To learn how to handle this scenario, see our Yellowstone National Park Safety: Best Practices to Safely Explore the First National Park next.