Watch clueless Yellowstone tourist risk his life to grab a photo with angry bison

Bison in a field
(Image credit: Getty)

A tourist visiting Yellowstone National Park recently gave an excellent demonstration of how not to act around the park's bison by approaching within a few feet of two animals for a photo, and ignoring the warning signs that they were unhappy with his presence.

The incident was captured on video by another visitor, and shared on Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone (opens in new tab), which specializes in highlighting foolish behavior at US National Parks.

Bison, like all wild animals, need plenty of space (the exact amount varies per animal, but the National Park Service advises at least 25 yards, or 23 meters). If you get too close, you might notice changes in the animal's behavior, including pawing the ground, tossing its head, snorting, raising its tail, and bluff charges intended to scare you away.

In the video, which you can watch below, the bison, which have been grazing peacefully, can clearly be heard snorting as the man crouches down to pose, and raise their heads to watch him.

This time the visitor escaped unharmed, but not everyone who gets too close to a bison is so lucky. In fact, bison cause more injuries than any other animal at Yellowstone, including bears.

The best way to avoid a run-in with an angry animal is to give them a wide berth and enjoy watching them from a safe distance using a pair of the best binoculars or a telephoto lens. It pays to be particularly careful right now, as it's currently the middle of the bison mating season, known as the rut, when males are particularly unpredictable and aggressive.

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 13 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).