If someone has a unique sense of style or fashion, you might say their look could “stop traffic.” But when bison are the reason for a traffic jam, it’s not because they want your attention.
The video was reposted by the TouronsOfYellowstone (@touronsofyellowstone) account, and the caption describes how the person got out of their vehicle about 20 cars back and walked along the mountain road, all while holding an iPad to get a unique picture.
The park’s law enforcement were trying to get the herd moving, and they were stunned to see the tourist getting unreasonably close. After calling for the man to follow the park’s rules by standing at least 25 yards away, he retreated.
The comments section was not impressed.
“Entitled seems fitting,” said one Instagrammer, with another adding, “The ranger needs to fine him.”
While getting in the personal space of bison is unwise at the best of times, this bunch featured a couple of calves, increasing the risk to anyone who approaches.
“They had their babies with them,” another observed. “He’s lucky he’s still alive.”
The Government of the Northwest Territories advises never to get within a herd of bison or to come between two of the mammals, especially between a mother and calf.
Bison can be unpredictable and charge at any moment, and threatening behavior from humans is sure to make this more likely.
Male bison can weigh up to 2,000 pounds, according to Yellowstone National Park, while females can be as heavy as 1,000 pounds. Being charged by either isn’t likely to end well. The park says bison have harmed more people at the park than any other animal.
There are plenty of other reasons to be respectful of wildlife. Yellowstone has noted that feeding animals in its parks can lead to them getting too familiar with humans and reliant on the food they offer, meaning they can become aggressive when trying to get it.
We can observe nature from a distance and still be amazed by what we see. Getting too close can be a recipe for disaster and affect prey’s natural instincts regarding predators, leading to increased deaths from being more easily hunted — thus disturbing the natural balance of the ecosystem.
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