A close call was captured on video when careless tourists in Yellowstone National Park irritated a wild bison on one of the park’s roads.
Bison are one of the park’s most famous attractions and also one of its most publicized hazards. The National Park Service advises staying 25 yards away from all wildlife and cites bison by name. It also strongly recommends staying inside your car.
That’s not what many of these tourists were doing.
While the original source of the video is unknown, it was shared by the Instagram account Tourons of National Parks (@touronsofnationalparks). The term “touron” is a combination of “tourist” and “moron” that refers to people who do dangerous and thoughtless things while traveling.
The video, which seems to have been captured safely from inside a car, starts with a shot of a bison standing at the opposite side of a road in Yellowstone. Two others soon join it — and so does a crowd of stopped cars with people loitering outside them to watch.
The bison clearly doesn’t like that, as it grunts and calls repeatedly, then trots toward the onlookers in a clearly threatening display. The tourists run back toward their cars while the person behind the camera declares, “Yeah, y’all better clear out, there!”
While the bison gave the people a chance to escape this time, that outcome isn’t always certain. As the NPS points out, “The animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be.” This is especially true when they feel threatened, as they often do when humans and cars are nearby.
Combined with the fact that bison weigh up to 2,000 pounds, that means situations can turn deadly fast.
Yet while it’s understandable to want to admire these animals, a shockingly large number of people instead verge on antagonizing them — like this tourist who decided to sneak up on one who was grazing or this group who approached a bison for pictures.
“I can’t believe people are that stupid that they get out of the car and get that close to these huge animals,” said one commenter.
“When will people learn these are not pets?” demanded another user.
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