Careless couple corner bison in Yellowstone National Park, demonstrating perfectly how not to photograph wildlife

Close-up of bull bison standing in field
(Image credit: Getty)

A couple visiting Yellowstone National Park have delivered a textbook example of how not to photograph wildlife, cornering a large bison in a parking lot to take pictures on their phones.

A video of the dangerously close encounter, shared via Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone this week, shows the pair slowly approaching the animal from behind, seemingly unaware of the danger. After a few moments seemingly photographing the animal's backside, one of the pair draws even closer, getting within a couple of meters.

According the the National Park Service (NPS), bison are responsible for more injuries than any other animal at Yellowstone, including bears, wolves and snakes, and every year there are reports of people suffering serious injuries after getting too close (intentionally or accidentally).

Last month, an 83-year-old woman was badly injured when she was gored by a bison at Yellowstone. Officials say the animal was defending its space, and the victim was lifted about a foot off the ground on its horns.

Official advice from the NPS dictates that visitors should stay at least 25 yards (23 meters) from bison and elk at all times, and 100 yards (93 meters) from predators including bears and wolves. Ideally, you should stay within the safety of your car and enjoy watching using a pair of binoculars (our roundup of the best binoculars includes great options for all budgets).

You should also avoid blocking traffic to watch animals. Instead of holding up other drivers, use dedicated pullouts so other vehicles can pass while you enjoy the view.

For more advice, take a look at our guides wildlife safety: eight tips for surprise encounters and how to avoid being gored by a bison.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.