Out of the mouth of babes.
One young guy didn’t put too fine a point on it when asked why people at Yellowstone National Park were not waiting for a herd of bison to cross a boardwalk, saying, “They’re stupid.”
“Otherwise we’ll get rammed,” he said in the Sept. 16 TikTok shared by Jenna Baloo (@jenna_baloo), to explain why not to cross paths with the bison. It appeared his family and others were interrupted by the animals as they ventured near one of the park’s hundreds of geysers. At least no one seemed to be getting too close.
@jenna_baloo End the generation of #tourons #yellowstonenationalpark ♬ original sound – Jenna Baloo
One commenter put it simply: “smart kid. dumb adults. respect wildlife.”
Yellowstone tourists are instructed to remain at least 25 yards from the animals. Wildlife, including bison, should never be approached or fed — they may appear calm but are unpredictable.
Bison have injured more people in Yellowstone than any other animal and can charge at the drop of a hat. If threatened, they may show warning signs like bluff charging, head bobbing, pawing, bellowing, snorting, or raising their tails, according to the National Park Service (NPS). People should not stand their ground but rather walk or run away.
The United States Department of the Interior manages 11,000 bison in 19 herds throughout 12 states. That total is one-third of the population of bison that are supported for conservation in North America.
The animals play a role in conservation, restoration, and creating ecological biodiversity and are most at home in large landscapes. The continent’s total population of 360,000, however, is mostly raised as livestock.
“Our coexistence with free-ranging bison is constrained by concerns about safety, disease transmission, and protection of property. As a result, many bison conservation herds are managed as small, isolated herds behind fences that require selective culling annually,” according to the NPS. “These restrictions have social, genetic, population-level, and ecological consequences that ultimately affect the long-term recovery of bison as a species and how we interact with and relate to the largest land mammal in North America.”
Federal and state agencies, Native American tribes, and nongovernmental conservation organizations are working to restore wild bison at ecologically relevant scales, the NPS states. The goal is to create a value-added economy, improve human and environmental health, and support historical tribal and cultural values related to the animal.
So, props to this young boy for respecting the national mammal of the United States.
“He’s going far in life,” one commenter wrote, while another said he deserved a bison-size banana split.
At least two others noted: “Wise beyond his years.”
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