WATCH: Fed-Up Yellowstone National Park Bison Head-butts Car Full of Tourists

by Lauren Boisvert

A Yellowstone National Park tourist caught an interesting moment with a bison on video recently. A few bison were hanging out by the side of a road in the park when one decided it didn’t like the look of one particular car. The car approached the group, slowing down possibly to get a good look at the animals or just give them room. But, the big bison didn’t like that, as it walked up and head-butted the front grille of the car.

“This large bison was standing still in the middle of the road, so cars stopped in both directions with plenty of room between them and the bison,” wrote the YouTube user who posted the video. “Along comes another bison from the valley, up to the road, much closer to [the] car. The larger bison then decides to walk over to the smaller (yet still large) bison. That’s when this happened. Just think if he really put all his force into the ram. Luckily no one was hurt, not even the bison.”

Who knows why animals do the things they do, but this behavior could have something to do with rutting season. The rutting season for bison goes from July to September, but the animals are most active and aggressive from July to August. This could also be why there have been so many gorings and attacks this summer. Tourists are getting too close during rut season and paying the price.

Reasons Why That Yellowstone Bison Could Have Gone After the Car

We warn a lot about elk rutting season, from September to October, because they are extremely dangerous during this time. People love to see the elk in rut because they’re theatrical, they put on a show for their mates. But we don’t really bring that much attention to bison rut. During a rut, the animals display more face-to-face mating techniques. They roll in the dirt, lift their tails in a challenge, and curl their lips at potential female mates.

These animals are wild and potentially dangerous at all times of the year, but more so during these months. These tourists were keeping as safe a distance as they could, considering the animals were right by the road, so good on them for not stopping and getting out of their cars.

It’s my hypothesis that this bison got territorial and protective of the other bison in the area. We don’t know what’s going on in that animal’s head, so that’s the best I can do. Maybe this bison is a car guy and it just doesn’t like Mazda SUVs. There are so many questions here, but the important thing is no one got hurt, including the bison. There doesn’t seem to be too much damage on the car either. All in all, an exciting story to bring back home to their friends.