As a quick reminder to visitors at Yellowstone National Park, most cameras — even the one on your phone — have zoom functions.
One tourist seemed to neglect this fact when approaching a wild bison for a picture at a viewing spot next to a busy road, and it could have been a deadly decision.
The park’s website calls on visitors to stay 25 yards away from North America’s largest land mammal at all times, but apparently, this individual didn’t think the rules applied to them.
They carelessly strolled toward the huge animal while keeping their camera raised for a great shot the whole time, even weaving between parked cars as the bison decided it had enough of being the subject of future social media posts.
Staying a safe distance and using the camera’s zoom wasn’t enough, it seems, and the tourist figured getting closer was a good idea.
Bison have injured more people at Yellowstone than any other animal. While their hulking size and generally slow nature might trick people into thinking they won’t be caught should one charge, the bovines can actually run three times faster than humans.
Even if you’re Usain Bolt, you might not be safe.
“Glad the beast didn’t get too close to the Bison,” one Instagrammer commented. “His back pack would have flown high. PEOPLE, A Bison can close the gap in a few secs. The money 30mph in a small distance…sheesh.”
Wirth commented on the post himself, sharing his disbelief at the situation: “This was wild to see in person, and unfortunately way too common.”
It’s true that there are far too many videos of tourists putting themselves in uncomfortable spots for the sake of a snap.
Bison aren’t at Yellowstone National Park for the entertainment of tourists. In fact, by visiting the park, you are encroaching upon their territory. It’s not surprising that some may be provoked into attacking those who don’t show the appropriate level of respect.
In addition to possibly landing yourself in the hospital should one make a charge at you, it’s also likely the bison in question would be euthanized after the incident, as they would be considered a danger to human life and may attack again. That’s not worth the close-up.
If you really do care for nature, putting animals in danger isn’t a good way to show it, no matter how many likes your picture might get online.
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