Yellowstone bison tears into tourists' car like a can opener

Bison on road at Yellowstone National Park facing cars
(Image credit: Getty)

A group of people visiting Yellowstone National Park's Lamar Valley were left with a hefty repair bill as a souvenir after one of the park's bison rammed their car, tearing a huge hole in the bonnet with its horns.

The visitors were waiting in stationary traffic while a herd of bison moved across the road, One of the car's occupants decided to record the animals passing close by, and captured the moment one large bull went on the attack.

The video, which you can watch below, was recorded during the bison rut, which takes place from late summer to early fall, but has begun recirculating this week after being shared on Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone. As the name suggests, this account usually features examples of bad behavior at US National Parks (often involving wildlife), but this time the visitors were just unlucky.

The Lamar Buffalo Ranch was central to the reintroduction of bison in Yellowstone after the animals were nearly exterminated in the 1800s. By 1901, only 25 bison were left in the entire park.

To help the population recover, another 21 animals were purchased from private owners, and brought to the Lamar Valley where they were fed and bred, Eventually they were released and allowed to mix and breed with the park's free-roaming animals. Today, Yellowstone is home to thousands of bison, which have become one of the park's main attractions.

Wildlife watching

The National Park Service (NPS) warns visitors that the safest place to view wildlife is from your car. Always stay at least 25 yards (23 meters) from bison and elk, and never approach or deliberately disturb them.

Although they prefer to avoid close encounters with humans, and will usually be first to leave the area, bison are wild animals and can be unpredictable. Males can be particularly aggressive during the rut, while females are fiercely protective of their calves in the spring.

For advice on how to enjoy watching animals safely, see our guides wildlife safety: eight tips for unexpected encounters and 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).