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Video captures tourists' close call with wildlife: 'What a lack of respect for this magnificent animal'

"Simple acts of consideration will result in you not being gored and/or trampled."

"Simple acts of consideration will result in you not being gored and/or trampled."

Photo Credit: YouTube

One sure way to ruin a visit to a national park is to provoke a bison into charging. The situation could end badly for both you and the beast.

At Yellowstone National Park, a group of tourists were quite rightly thrilled to be in the presence of such a remarkable creature. Quite wrongly, though, they got way too close to the animal, breaking park rules and putting both themselves and the animal in danger.

A video of the incident, uploaded to the ViralHog YouTube channel, showed one of the group putting their hand out toward the large bovine, seemingly trying to pet it. They looked away at exactly the wrong moment as the agitated bison reared its head and bluff-charged. 

After spotting the animal's move in the nick of time, they scarpered, having to leave the designated boardwalk to get away — and stumbling in the process. 

The Yellowstone website explicitly asks visitors to stay at least 23 meters from the park's vast bison population, and other local animals, at all times. This video makes it clear why.

While this tourist had a lucky escape, it could have been a much different story. According to the National Park Trust, the average weight of a buffalo is between 701 and 2,205 pounds. If you find yourself on the wrong end of a charge, it will likely result in a trip to the hospital or worse.

Unfortunately, a bison strike may not be without consequences for the animal, too. They might be euthanized to ensure the safety of other park visitors who can follow the rules.

The dangers of encroaching way closer than necessary are not limited to bison, either. Elk, oryx, moose, and even bears have all been documented protecting themselves from perceived human threats. 

National parks offer visitors unique opportunities to be in the presence of wildlife. But rules are in place for a reason, and breaking them not only demonstrates a lack of respect for the animal but also for park rangers and other tourists who are simply trying to enjoy a day out in nature. 

YouTubers were stunned at the footage, admonishing the tourist for their misguided actions.

"What a lack of respect for this magnificent animal," one commenter said. 

"Would you want someone bothering you when you're eating?" another added. "Let the bison eat his grass. Give him his space and his respect. Admire from afar. Simple acts of consideration will result in you not being gored and/or trampled."

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