It's been a busy tourist season at many National and State Parks across America. We have probably seen more dumb tourist incidents this year than in the last few. Somehow, all these people teasing bison, sheep, elk, and bears have managed to avoid serious injuries. When they aren't doing that, they're going off the trails and boardwalks to places they shouldn't be. We're not sure how, but maybe public shaming on social media isn't enough to discourage this behavior. Perhaps a reminder of the real-world consequences of disrespecting wildlife and our parks system is in order. Today we're sharing an oldie but a goodie video from South Dakota's Custer State Park. Aside from Yellowstone, Custer is probably the second most popular place to go if you want to see a bison in the wild. It's also home to the same dumb tourist behavior the larger National Park sees.
A lot is going on in this one. We've got people illegally parking in the middle of the road, many of whom are blocking traffic. Then there's a mob of people getting way too close to the bison. Finally, one buffalo decides it has had enough and attacks the closest woman. Somehow, the bison's horn gets hooked into the woman's pants and takes the human for a ride across the road. The woman's pants give way before the bison can do more damage, and the animal runs off with a rather unusual souvenir on its horn.
We know we shouldn't laugh, but when you mess with a bull (or bison), you get the horns! While the woman was taken to a hospital, she somehow escaped injury. A park ranger recovered her pants, which had her keys still attached to one of the belt loops. How he got that off the animal, we may never know. She was fortunate a bison didn't kill her. Bison always give false charges, but when they decide to attack, things get ugly fast. We're not even sure she knew what hit her. The next thing she knew, she lay in the grass sans pants. It can't get much more humiliating than that.
While we're glad neither human nor animal was hurt in this incident, we at least hope the tourist learned a profound lesson about the dangers of wildlife in places like Custer. These are wild creatures that deserve our respect. Let that be a warning to anyone planning a late summer trip to any park that has bison. Give these animals a wide berth, or this could be you.