Two people have been caught on camera making a hasty retreat after getting too close to a particularly large bison at Yellowstone National Park.
The incident (which you can watch below) was recorded by Yellowstone trail guide Luudens and shared via Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone, which calls out bad behavior at US National Parks. Other recent close calls have included people jumping out at bears, trying to pet bison, and leaning over actively boiling geysers after wandering off the boardwalk.
In the latest clip, a man and young woman can be seen taking selfies extremely close to a bison by a river. When the animal turns toward them, the girl runs off giggling while the man strolls away, ignoring the trail guide's warnings that the animal is dangerous.
A photo posted by on
There have been so many incidents involving wildlife in recent weeks that the National Park Service (NPS) issued a statement asking visitors to give animals more space and show some consideration.
"Yellowstone provides millions of visitors one of the greatest wildlife viewing displays in North America. In recent days, some actions by visitors have led to the endangerment of people and wildlife and resulted in the death of wildlife. The park calls on visitors to protect wildlife by understanding how their actions can negatively impact wildlife," said the NPS.
"Approaching wild animals can drastically affect their well-being and, in some cases, their survival. When an animal is near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot, on a road, or in a developed area, leave it alone and give it space."
One of these deaths occurred after a well-meaning park visitor tried to help a bison calf by pushing it up from a riverbank onto a road. Despite the best efforts of Park Rangers, attempts to reunite the animal with its herd failed, and when it began approaching cars and people, they took the difficult decision to euthanize it.
Another visitor loaded an elk calf into their car and drove it to a police station, mistakenly believing it had been abandoned. Elk often leave their calves hidden for safety while they graze, but the adults are rarely far away. The frightened calf ran off into the woods and its fate is unknown.
"Park regulations require that you stay at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all wildlife (including bison, elk and deer) and at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves," said the NPS. "Disregarding these regulations can result in fines, injury, and even death."
For more advice, see our guides how to avoid being gored by a bison and wildlife safety: eight tips for unexpected encounters.
- Best binoculars and monoculars: enjoy wildlife from a safe distance
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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).