• Outdoors Outdoors

Bystander video shows bison's warning to tourists at Yellowstone National Park: 'I want to see them all immediately hauled to jail'

"Huge fines, lifetime bans."

Bison’s warning to tourists at Yellowstone National Park

Photo Credit: @ touronsofyellowstone / Instagram

Bison are faster and far more agile than even world-class athletes. They can charge at 40 miles per hour, jump six feet in the air, and change direction in the blink of an eye.

So, it's never a good idea to approach one, though that has become seemingly common conduct at national parks.

In another social media post blasting the dangerous and unruly behavior around the national mammal of the United States, Tourons of Yellowstone (@touronsofyellowstone) shared a short video on Sept. 11 on Instagram.

No fewer than half a dozen "tourons," a derogatory nickname that combines "tourist" and "moron," scattered as a bison nonchalantly took a few threatening steps toward them in Yellowstone National Park.

The National Park Service advises people to stay at least 25 yards away from bison and elk and 100 yards from bears and wolves in Yellowstone, but these sightseers were much closer.

"The harassment of these animals is so wrong and is a more critical issue to address than any focus on protecting selfish humans," a commenter said.

Other users wrote that the park will have to close if such misbehavior continues.

"These a******s are ruining it for everyone else!" one said.

This group was lucky the bison just bluffed a charge because their slow trots as they fled the scene could have resulted in severe injury or even death. Bison have injured more people than any other animal in Yellowstone.

The NPS says to give them space near campsites, trails, boardwalks, parking lots, and developed areas. Guests should reverse course if necessary to avoid getting too close. 

"Approaching bison threatens them, and they may respond by bluff charging, head bobbing, pawing, bellowing, or snorting," according to the NPS. "These are warning signs that you are too close and that a charge is imminent."

This bison and another behind it did not appear to show any of these warning signs, which only highlights their unpredictability.

Bison, on another hand, may be the most beneficial animals for biodiversity conservation.

In examining more than 30 years of data, a 2002 study showed reintroducing the animals to tallgrass prairies more than doubled plant diversity and richness.

Every time one of these videos gains traction, people call for greater protection of the fauna steeped in American lore.

"I want to see them all immediately hauled to jail," one user commented. "Huge fines, lifetime bans." 

"These videos make me lose hope in the human race," another said.

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