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Video captures terrifying interaction between bison and tourist's pet dog at Yellowstone: 'It's incredibly irresponsible'

"It's that time of year again to remind everyone…"

The new addition will take over the generating capacity of one of the existing units, which will be retired by the end of 2023.

Photo Credit: iStock

The TouronsOfYellowstone Instagram account often posts videos of close encounters between visitors and the wildlife at Yellowstone National Park. 

In most cases, the footage will show cautionary tales of near misses. In this case, however, the Instagram page presented a very real incident that could have been significantly worse.

"It's that time of year again to remind everyone of the ever infamous 'Richard the pit-bull' and how dangerous it can be to let your dog run loose in Yellowstone," the video was captioned.

While filming bison grazing from a reasonably safe distance, someone captured an unexpected intruder entering the frame.

An off-leash pitbull made a break for one of the unsuspecting bison. But after clocking the dog's impending arrival, the bison decided it had no time to play.

With tail raised and head bowed, the bison met the pup skull-to-skull, sending the poor pooch flying through the air before scuttling back to its owners with its tail between its legs. 

Luckily, it seems the dog escaped relatively unscathed, but it could have been a much different story on another day.

The Yellowstone National Park website says bison have injured more people at the park than any other animal, recommending visitors to stay at least 23 meters (25 yards) away at all times.

Male bison can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and can run more than 30 miles per hour. It's easy to see why the pitbull was thrown like a rag doll after getting too close.

Yellowstone's website says pets are only allowed in developed areas of the park and must be controlled at all times, either in a car, crate or on a maximum six-foot leash.

Commenters on the video could not believe the dog was off the leash and allowed to get as close as it did.

"It's incredibly irresponsible of the owners to a) bring their pet to the park when [it's] against park rules, and b) lose control of their pet, endangering its life," said one annoyed Instagrammer.

"Why would anyone bring a dog to Yellowstone," asked another.

"Poor dog. Not its fault the humans are stupid," another observed.

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