A couple took their lives into their hands at Yellowstone National Park this week, straying off the trail and approaching within a few feet of a feeding bison to get a photo, then getting even closer for a selfie with the animal.
The incident was captured by another park visitor who kept his distance and provided narration as a man crept up behind the bull, phone in hand. In the resulting video, which you can watch below, the man then encourages his partner to join him with the animal for a photo opportunity.
In this case the couple were lucky, but not everyone is so fortunate. Bison are powerful and unpredictable wild animals, and according to the National Park Service, are responsible for more injuries at Yellowstone than any other animal, including bears and snakes.
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The video was shared on Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone, which highlights bad and dangerous behavior at US National Parks and other sites of natural beauty.
Despite clearly visible signs warning hikers to give wildlife plenty of space (the NPS advises at least 25 yards for bison and elk), many people ignore the warnings or fail to maintain awareness of their surroundings. Three people were gored within the space of a week earlier this year, prompting the park to share a poster telling guests not to "pet the fluffy cows".
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Despite the light-hearted tone, the poster makes a serious point. "You can help keep yourself and other visitors safe and wildlife wild by setting a good example!," said park officials in an Instagram post. "Remember to treat wildlife with proper caution and respect. The safety of animals, as well as your safety, depends on everyone using good judgment."
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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).