Regardless of the outdoor activity or space, there are a few rules that must be followed at all times. These rules are called the Leave No Trace principles and are essential for any outdoorsman, both for the safety and protection of wildlife and the adventurer himself.
Each of the rules is just as important as the last. Disregard any of the seven principles, and you risk not only the integrity of the outdoor space but also potentially put yourself in a life-threatening situation. One of the most crucial for an outdoorsman’s safety, in particular, however, is to respect wildlife.
The vast majority of animals pose no threat to humans whatsoever – as long as they’re given their space. Even the most docile animal can and will attack if they feel threatened. And invading their space is a great way to inspire that feeling.
As a wildlife photographer, Brian Genge is well-aware of this fact. So when he saw a man approach a bison on foot at Yellowstone, he could hardly believe his eyes.
“I was filming from a safe distance with a large telephoto lens,” Genge explained to FTW Outdoors. “I initially was just going to get a silly video of the bison blocking the road when to my surprise [the man and kid] came close.”
Social Media Users Respond to Bison Incident at Yellowstone
Bison are herbivores. They’re also typically calm and perfectly safe to admire – again, from a distance. Because, like cows, bison have poor eyesight and are extremely easy to spook. And unlike their bovine relatives, they’re both fast and incredibly agile. At top speed, a bison can reach a pace of 35 miles per hour!
For the safety of the animals, and especially the visitors, Yellowstone National Park has strict guidelines prohibiting the approach of the local bison. Visitors outside of their vehicles must stay at least 25 yards from the massive bovines.
Due to the sheer size of the park and the amount of bison on the property, however, this rule is virtually impossible to enforce. And sadly, the disregard for this rule leads to deaths every year. This year alone, at least three visitors have been gored by a bison.
The man in the video is exceptionally lucky that he didn’t become the fourth victim, a fact social media users were quick to point out. “Disgusting. Remove them from the park, fine them, and let the big Buffalo give them what they deserve,” an enraged user wrote on Facebook.
“It appears the bison has far more common sense than the photographer,” said another on YouTube. “What is wrong with people!!! I found myself hoping the guy was going to get stomped into the ground. These idiots need to be fined. Good grief,” added a third in disbelief.