See careless tourists narrowly avoid disaster taking selfies with Yellowstone bison

Bison in field in fall
(Image credit: Getty)

A group of visitors narrowly avoided disaster at Yellowstone National Park recently when they stopped to take selfies with one of the park's thousands of bison. The incident shows at least five men stopping to take photos with the animal, and was recorded by a sixth, all within a few feet.

In this instance the bison stayed calm and ignored them, but things could have turned out very differently. Bison are strong and unpredictable, and cause more injuries at Yellowstone than any other animal, including bears and snakes.

This particular encounter (which you can watch below) was share on Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone, which highlights bad behavior at US National Parks and other sites of natural beauty – often involving wildlife or hazards like geysers and waterfalls.

Around 5,400 bison were counted at Yellowstone in 2021, and they can be seen year-round in the Hayden and Lamar valleys. In the winter, they can also be spotted seeking warmth in the park's hydrothermal areas. and along the Madison River. Blacktail Deer Plateau, Tower, and the Gardiner Basin.

Males (known as bulls) can weigh up to 2,000lb, and females (also called cows) can weigh as much as 1,000lb. They can move at speeds up to 30mph and are surprisingly agile for their size, so it's wise to give them plenty of space.

The National Park Service recommends staying at least 25 yards (23 meters) away at all times, and using a long camera lens or binoculars to appreciate the animals from a safe distance. 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.