Huge bison loses patience with phone-toting Yellowstone tourist

Bison crossing road at Yellowstone National Park, USA
(Image credit: Getty)

A bison has been captured on camera at Yellowstone National Park charging a visitor that invaded its personal space, and tossing him over a barrier. In the resulting video, which you can watch below, the man ignores the animal's raised tail, grunting, and aggressive posturing until it's too late to get out of the way.

The video was recorded during the fall, but has begun circulating on social media this week thanks to Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone, which highlights examples of bad behavior at US National Parks and other sites of natural beauty.

Despite Yellowstone's frequent warnings about the danger of getting too close to the park's hundreds of bison, visitors all too often underestimate their speed and strength. Bison cause more injuries at Yellowstone than any other animal, including bears and snakes, and last year three people were gored by the animals within the space of a few weeks.

On May 30 a woman was attacked after approaching within 10 feet of a bison on a boardwalk. On June 27, a man suffered injuries to his arm after being charged by one of the animals, and just two days later a woman was gored when she and her daughter accidentally approached a bison when returning to their car near the trailhead

Stay safe around bison

Although they may look like fluffy cows, bison are wild animals and can be unpredictable. Males are most likely to become aggressive during the mating season (known as the rut), which takes place between June and September. Females will be particularly protective around their young, which are born between late March and May.

According to the National Bison Association, bison can also react badly if they feel trapped in an area: "As soon as they are forced, they perceive that they are going to be trapped against their will and they rapidly revert to an escape mentality. If they cannot escape, aggression is their next option."

The National Park Service (NPS) warns visitors to stay at least 25 yards (23 meters) from bison at all times, and never approach or try to touch the animals. It's much safer to watch from a distance using a pair of binoculars. For more advice, see our guide 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.