At Yellowstone National Park, you must keep at least 25 yards away from bison at all times to ensure both your safety and that of the huge bovines.
Sadly, it’s not unusual to see videos of tourists flouting the rules.
A new recording uploaded to the Tourons of Yellowstone Instagram account (@touronsofyellowstone) shows multiple park-goers seemingly thinking they are immune from this guidance and creeping closer to grab a picture.
The footage was shared by Kaylee Friend (@kaylee_friend), who used the zoom function on her camera to capture around 10 tourists getting unreasonably close to a bison strolling through a viewing spot.
Not only is it unfair that the bison had to navigate a throng of parked cars, but having to deal with people who can’t follow simple rules must have caused the animal some stress in what is essentially their own backyard.
Naturally, commenters on Instagram were furious, with one user saying, “I swear people think they’re at a petting zoo.”
“It’s not a zoo folks,” another added. “Just because they’re in a park doesn’t mean [they’re] tame.”
According to Yellowstone National Park’s website, bison have injured more people in the area of natural beauty than any other animal.
The park says the animals can be unpredictable, which is why keeping a safe distance is wise. Since they can run up to three times faster than humans and males can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds, giving them a head start should they grow tired of your presence isn’t the smartest move.
It’s understandable why anyone would marvel at these magnificent beasts, but respecting their personal space is essential.
If bison charge at humans and cause injury or worse, they will likely be euthanized because there is an increased chance they will do so again. Furthermore, if bison become too comfortable around humans, their decreased fear response will put them at greater risk of predators.
A picture might seem like a great way to show the world how much you love these creatures, but keeping them out of harm’s way is a better way to prove your adoration.
Join our free newsletter for cool news and cool tips that make it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.