Here's a demonstration of how NOT to photograph bison at Yellowstone, courtesy of two tourists

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

Each year, the National Park Service warns the public that bison are dangerous, but each year some people choose not to listen – like these two visitors who decided to wander off the boardwalk to snap selfies with a particularly large animal.

A video of the pair (recorded by another park visitor from a safe distance) was shared via Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone this week. The account specializes in calling out bad behavior at US National Parks, which all too often involve people interfering with wildlife – including chasing bears and taunting elk.

Just last month, a man from Idaho was arrested for kicking a bison at Yellowstone (and being injured in the process). The 37-year-old was was arrested for disorderly conduct, approaching wildlife and disturbing wildlife, driving under the influence, and failure to yield to emergency light activation.

Disturbing wildlife is a federal crime, and those found guilty face hefty fines, or even jail time. In 2021, 25-year-old Illinois resident Samantha Dehring was fined and sentenced to four days in custody after approaching a grizzly bear and her two cubs at Yellowstone to take photos.

"Approaching a sow grizzly with cubs is absolutely foolish," said acting US attorney Bob Murray on behalf of the District of Wyoming at the time. "Here, pure luck is why Dehring is a criminal defendant and not a mauled tourist."

Stay safe at Yellowstone

"The animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be," warns the National Park Service. "The safest (and often best) view of wildlife is from inside a car."

You should always stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards from all other animals, including elk and bison. For more advice, see our guide wildlife safety: eight tips for unexpected encounters, which is packed with advice for how to avoid close calls, and how to handle the situation if you find yourself in a difficult situation with an animal.

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.