Viral video shows tourist losing pants after sitting down among herd of bison

Migrating bison herd, South Dakota, USA
(Image credit: Getty)

A woman was caught in a bison stampede at Custer State Park after sitting down among the animals to take photos, and ended up losing her jeans after a bull lifted her off the ground. The incident took place in 2020, but a video has begun circulating on social media after being shared on Instagram TouronsOfYellowstone as a demonstration of what can happen when wild animals aren't treated with respect. 

In the video, which you can watch below (and which contains bad language), a large herd of bison are spread over the road and surrounding grassland while a traffic jam builds up. Most of the people in the jam leave their vehicles to get a better look at the animals, and one woman gets particularly close, eventually settling on the grass with her phone.

The videographer, who appears to be much farther from the herd than most, spots some of the bison becoming restless, then cries out in shock as one animal catches the seated woman by her pants and spins her around, eventually pulling them right off.

The woman is left unconscious, but later recovered. The video ends with a park ranger recovering her jeans from the bison's horns, with her keys still in the pocket.

Although bison might look like fluffy cows, they are wild animals, and can be unpredictable and aggressive. The National Park Service says they are more dangerous than many people realize, and advises visitors to stay at least 25 yards (23 meters) from the animals, and bear in mind that individuals will have their own preferences when it comes to personal space. For more advice, see our guide how to avoid being gored by a bison.

Earlier this year, a British woman was gored at Custer State Park while hiking with a friend. 19-year-old Amelia Dean received serious injuries to her leg when a large bull tossed her in the air, piercing her thigh with its horn and severing her femoral artery. 

Dean told local news station Dakota News Now that the animal was over 100 yards away when she and her friend first noticed it, but ran right towards her and stopped within arm's reach. After waiting a moment, it attacked.

"I think I hope this doesn’t discourage people from traveling," said Dean. "Travel and explore and have fun. This is a freak accident this isn’t going to happen every time somebody walks in a park. Hopefully."

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.