Yellowstone tourist's car takes a real beating in bison stampede

Herd of bison on road
(Image credit: Getty)

A family visiting Yellowstone National Park got a shock recently when their car was caught in the middle of a bison stampede. The driver recorded the animals as they charged past, bringing traffic to a standstill, and one collided with the windscreen.

In the clip, which you can watch below, one large bull runs directly at the car, leaving a large spider crack in the glass. The video contains strong language.

The video was shared on Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone (opens in new tab), which usually focuses on highlighting bad behavior at US National Parks and other areas of natural beauty. However, wildlife is unpredictable, and even following the rules doesn't completely eliminate the chance of a close encounter.

We don't see the start of the charge, so it's not clear what caused the start of the stampede, but the visitors were wise to stay inside their cars. According to the National Park Service (opens in new tab) (NPS), bison are the most dangerous animal at Yellowstone, responsible for more injuries than any other creature, including bears and snakes.

"The animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be," warns the NPS. "The safest (and often best) view of wildlife is from inside a car. Always stay at least 100 yards (91m) away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards (23m) away from all other animals, including bison and elk."

If you're not sure whether you're giving a bison enough space, hold out your arm, close one eye, and give the animal a thumbs up. If you can completely obscure the bison with your thumb, you're far enough away. If not, you should back up.

If there are bison in your path, take a different route or turn around and head back rather than trying to squeeze past. Last year, a woman hiking in a Texas park was seriously injured when she decided to sneak past a small herd rather than taking a long detour.

For more advice, see our guide how to avoid being gored by a bison.

Cat Ellis
Editor

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).