Yellowstone tourist blithely wanders into the middle of a herd of 2,000lb bison

Bison herd at Yellowstone National Park
(Image credit: Getty)

A man has been filmed at Yellowstone National Park surrounded by bison, having strolled right into the middle of a herd with his phone to take pictures of the animals.

"We were at the mud volcano when this whole herd of bison walks down and surrounds the boardwalk on all sides and blocks the path to the parking lot," said Katie Lynelle, who captured the incident on camera and shared the video online.

"Most of us were retreating and waiting on the boardwalk, or – if you were in the parking lot side – retreating to your car. Then this man in yellow just walks straight through and gets incredibly close he bison for the perfect close up [of a] 2,000lb animal.”

She shared her clip via Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone, which highlights bad behavior at US National Parks, including visitors taunting elk, poking moose, and jumping out at bears.

Bison safety

The National Park Service (NPS) warns people to always stay at least 25 yards (23 meters) from bison, and with good reason. They are responsible for more injuries at Yellowstone than any other animal, and two women have been gored by bison at US National Parks within the last week.

Although they may seem docile, they can be unpredictable and can become aggressive if they feel threatened.

"Give bison space when they are near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area," says the NPS. "If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity."

If you're not sure whether you're far enough away, the NPS recommends closing one eye, holding out your arm, and giving the animal a thumbs-up. If you can completely hide it behind your thumb, you're fine. If not, you should back up.

For more advice, take a look at 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.