Even more tourists caught harassing huge bison at Yellowstone, despite warnings

Bison at golden hour in Yellowstone National Park, USA
(Image credit: Getty)

Yet another couple have been caught using a bison as a photo prop at Yellowstone National Park this week. The pair were spotted just a few feet from the animal, with one person crouching to take a picture while the other

A photo of the incident, taken by another park visitor, was shared on Instagram account TouronsOfNationalParks, which calls out bad behavior at sites of natural beauty around the world. These often involve wildlife, and as hiking season gets underway there has been a spate of incidents recently involving people getting too close to bison.

Within the last few weeks people have been spotted crowding around the animals, posing for photos with them, and even trying to pet them while taking selfies.

The National Park Service (NPS) has shared frequent reminders asking visitors not to disturb wildlife, for their own safety and that of the animals, but the close calls have continued.

Tragically, a newborn bison calf was euthanized at the park last month after a well-meaning visitor pushed it up from a riverbank onto a road. Attempts to reunite the animal with its herd failed, and after it began approaching cars and people, Park Rangers took the difficult decision to put it down.

"The best way to stay safe around wildlife is give them room to move," the NPS wrote on Twitter after the incident. "Do not feed, touch, tease, frighten, or intentionally disturb wildlife. Remember that wildlife in parks are wild and like your ex, can be unpredictable when they’re disturbed or surprised."

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Give bison room to breathe

Although bison prefer to avoid close contact with humans, they are wild animals and can be unpredictable, particularly if they or their young are threatened. Last summer three people were gored by bison at Yellowstone within the space of a few weeks, usually after accidentally getting too close to the animals. 

The NPS warns visitors to stay at least 23 yards (25 meters) from elk and bison at all times. If you're not sure how far that is, try holding out your arm, closing one eye, and giving the animal a thumbs-up. If you can't completely hide it behind your thumb, you need to back up.

For more advice, see our guides how to avoid being gored by a bison and wildlife safety: eight tips for unexpected encounters.

Cat Ellis
Editor

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.