There’s a reason why the National Parks Service is strict about how close individuals can get to wildlife — and it’s exemplified in a video shared on Storyful Viral’s (@StoryfulViral) YouTube channel.
The video shows a tourist coming dangerously close to a grazing bison. As the man approaches the hind end of the animal, it quickly turns around and bolts towards the man, causing him to run away in a panic. He retreats to safety before the bison returns to grazing.
Bison are incredibly large and agile creatures who are not afraid to assert their need for space to daring tourists. Another video shared to YouTube showed how one bison charged at a young boy after he got too close to it. A post shared to the Tourons of Yellowstone Instagram account also showed an individual getting pinned underneath a bison — which can happen if a tourist can’t outrun these large beings.
Bison have injured more people than any wildlife in National Parks. This is in part because of their size; the bison is North America’s largest land mammal, with some males clocking in at over 2,000 pounds. Don’t let their size fool you, though; the mammal can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour — which is yet another reason they need to be left alone in the parks.
The National Parks Service requires visitors to stay at least 25 yards away from these mammals to prevent serious injury or even death. But it’s clear that the rules have not stopped many individuals from poking the hypothetical bear (… er … bison) and testing fate.
Commenters were angry by the tourist’s bold move and invasion of the wild animal’s space. “There is always one idiot that [tries] to look smart,” commented one user.
“People like this are helping out with preventing overpopulation. Give your thanks,” another user joked.
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