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Video shows tourist encroaching on bison moments before park ranger takes action: 'Not sure what his ... plan was on this one'

"It's cute until it isn't."

"It's cute until it isn't."

Photo Credit: Instagram

Video footage of a man getting far too close to a bison for a picture has infuriated followers of the Tourons of National Parks (@touronsofnationalparks) Instagram account. 

The incident was filmed at Yellowstone National Park, which calls on visitors to remain at least 23 meters (75 feet) away from bison at all times. 

"The animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be," the park's website reads, but this tourist didn't heed the warning. 

The grazing bison did indeed appear calm, but as Yellowstone's website attests, that doesn't mean you should approach.

This tourist must have been no more than five meters (16 feet) away while trying to get the optimal snap. The resulting image also appears as a screenshotted still on the video clip.

But whatever your opinion on the quality of the photography, we can all agree that this was a misguided way to get a close-up. The camera would surely have had a zoom function, allowing the tourist to get the desired shot without putting themselves in danger. 

In the background of a video, another bystander can be heard giggling as the man gets close to the huge bovine. "You are crazy!" they said, while a note on the clip also observed it happened just before a park ranger told them to keep their distance.

On another day, this wouldn't have been a laughing matter.

"She wouldn't be laughing if he had gotten gored or trampled," one commenter on Instagram said. "It's cute until it isn't."

"Not sure what his grandmaster plan was on this one," another user wondered.

Another Instagrammer summarized the reasons why this was the wrong move: "Grumpy. The size of a minivan. Unpredictable. But by all means get closer."

The park ranger shouldn't have to deal with this sort of behavior. Visiting national parks and being in the presence of incredible wildlife should be a privilege, but bad decisions can make it stressful for bystanders and officials. 

If you got the picture and the bison did charge, leaving you with injuries and potentially resulting in the animal getting euthanized, would it really have been worth it? That's perhaps the worst way to "prove" your appreciation for nature. 

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