Watch Yellowstone tourists demonstrate how not to act near sparring bison

Pair of bison fighting in Yellowstone National Park
(Image credit: Getty)

A pair of hikers visiting Yellowstone National Park have been captured on camera demonstrating exactly how not to behave around a pair of angry bison.

There have been several high-profile bison attacks at Yellowstone over recent months, prompting a campaign advising members of the public not to pet the fluffy cows, but it seems the advice hasn't fully sunk in for all visitors.

As Yahoo News reports, Montana resident Cindy Shaffer captured a pair of tourists getting far too close to two animals sparring in the road. The footage, which you can watch below, shows a pair of people standing within a few feet of the bison and snapping pictures as the animals lock horns.

Luckily for the two tourists, the bison were focused on their fight and ignored them, but things could have turned out differently.

The American bison is the largest mammal in North America, with bulls standing up to 6.5ft tall at the shoulder, and weighing over 1,980lbs. Despite their bulk, they can stampede at speeds up to 40mph. In short, they are impressive animals to be respected and admired from a safe distance.

While not generally aggressive, bison can be unpredictable and sometimes charge people with little provocation, goring them with their horns and tossing them in the air. According to a 2019 study by Utah State University, American bison injure more people than any other wildlife in Yellowstone National Park, including grizzly bears.

To stay safe, it's recommended that you never get within 75ft of a bison when you're on foot. 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.