Watch a Yellowstone Tourist Walk Dangerously Close To Massive Bison: ‘Can I Pet You?’

by Lauren Boisvert

The hits start coming, and they really don’t stop coming, apparently, as yet another Yellowstone National Park tourist got too close to a bison. You’d think these people would hear about all the gorings and tramplings from tourists getting too close and would take that into account when visiting the parks. Apparently not.

The video, posted by the Instagram account Tourons of Yellowstone–which recently posted this video of unattended kids surrounded by elk–shows a tourist approaching a relaxing bison. The animal is minding its own business, just living its life in the sun, when a tourist comes up and asks, “Do you mind if I ride you?” and “Can I pet you?” The guy says, “I’m your friend,” and yeah, sure, until you get too close and the bison kicks you into next week. Later, the video shows the tourist from farther away, saying, “You’re not very friendly, are you?”

No, a bison is not going to be friendly. What is it that Yellowstone National Park tries to remind us? Oh yeah, do not pet the fluffy cows. Don’t touch them, don’t go near them, don’t try and be their friend. The bison does not want to be your friend. How many people have to be trampled and stabbed before visitors realize this?

Remember that these are free-roaming wild bison and they go where they want. What’s more, the bison in Yellowstone are the last-known wild bison in the world. This means their DNA hasn’t been mixed with domesticated bison or cattle. So, don’t you think they deserve a little dignity and respect? The bottom line is just don’t ask the wild bison if you can ride it. It’s unsafe, but it’s also embarrassing for us and for the bison.

UK Tourist Remains Paralyzed After Bison Attack

In more unfortunate news, UK tourist Amelia Dean remains paralyzed in the hospital after a bison attack at Custer State Park in South Dakota. Dean and her friend were hiking in the park when they ran out of water. They spotted a herd of bison and decided to follow it. The two guessed that they were most likely headed to a water source. What was supposed to be an enjoyable day at a State Park turned into a near-death experience for Dean.

“It’s a surreal enough experience let alone the fact that we weren’t doing anything that really warranted it. We were just having a walk in the park,” Dean said recently to Dakota News Now from her hospital bed in Rapid City, SD. Dean claims that she was more than 100 yards away from the herd and was following all the rules when it comes to wildlife. But she still couldn’t avoid an attack.

A large male bison ran down a hill at Dean, gored her in the leg, and severed her femoral artery. She became paralyzed from the knee down on that leg. She has been hospitalized for about two months. “I have basically no movement in my foot,” she said. “I can’t walk without a walker or crutches.”

Although Dean claims that it was a “freak accident” and hopes her experience doesn’t discourage people from traveling, I do wish it would discourage people from actually approaching bison.