It's exciting to experience large animals in the wild, especially if day-to-day life sees you surrounded by buildings, traffic, and miles of cement. But no matter how thrilling it may be, it's important to give wildlife the respect and space it deserves. Most national park tourists can understand and practice this basic precaution, but a handful tends to find this out the hard way.
Like this group of Yellowstone visitors that got a little too up close and personal with a bison and found out that he only tolerates people in his bubble for so long. A video of the encounter is posted on the TouronsofYellowstone Instagram page.
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This Instagram has quickly become a favorite of ours. It highlights people who exhibit generally poor behavior choices while visiting national parks. If you were walking on the boardwalk, hopefully you'd recognize the gigantic mammal and steer clear. But no, even though the tourists backed away from the large animal at first, he did not seem too bothered by their presence. They came closer, essentially surrounding the bison. A group of women gets close enough to take selfies with the animal while a man stands towards the front, taking pictures himself. Was the picture worth the risk you life by basically cornering a bison?!
Then the bison climbs up onto the boardwalk, and a shriek can be heard in the audio as the women run away. The man taking pictures back pedals, as do the other tourists on the bridge. The bison crosses to the other side, munching on some grass. Since he does not move forward, the group of women approaches him again, and the man resumes taking photos. One of the women is daring enough to walk alongside him, stopping a couple of feet in front of his face to take more pictures. The bison just keeps eating.
These are very large animals that can weigh up to 2,200 pounds at maturity. It should go without saying but they should be given all the space and respect an animal of that size deserves. Bison are generally reserved animals but have been known to attack people, so approaching them is not allowed. The National Park System suggests you keep at least 25 yards away from them. If they begin to paw at the ground, grunt, or fake a charge, take that as your sign to get out of there!