Visiting the U.S. National Parks comes with some simple rules, one of the most important being to never approach wildlife. It’s dangerous for us and for the animals. Despite this common-sense guideline, some tourists forget it—especially if there’s a great photo opportunity calling. But Yellowstone National Park is reminding us (again) to abide by this rule. If you need any proof as to why you should heed its warning, just watch as a woman got way too close to one of its bison.
In a short video captured on May 20, 2023, a bison is near a wooden plank path in the park. At the start of the seven-second clip, the animal has its head down and looks to be grazing. A group of folks stands close by—only a few feet away—and one woman reaches her hand as if she’s going to pet the creature. In a split second, the bison moves closer and shakes its head. It looks like it could charge. The group of people scatters, and the woman who held out her hand runs away but soon loses her footing and falls to the ground. Luckily, it seems that the bison was only trying to startle the group and doesn’t move any further.
The viral clip illustrates why it’s important to appreciate wildlife from afar. “The animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be. The safest (and often best) view of wildlife is from inside a car,” Yellowstone National Park advises. “Always stay at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all other animals, including bison and elk.”
When visiting the U.S. National Parks, it’s important to remember that you’re a visitor. You are among wild animals who live on these untouched lands. Give them some space and follow the rules.
The U.S. National Parks have simple but important rules, one of them the most important being to never approach wildlife. If you need any proof as to why you should heed its warning, just watch as a woman got way too close to one of its bison.
The incident happened at Yellowstone National Park. After it happened, the park tweeted its rules.
4. Give Wildlife Room, Use a Zoom
Animals are wild and dangerous if approached! Help keep wildlife wild by not approaching/following/feeding any animal. Stay 100 yards (91m) from bears/wolves and 25 yards (23m) from all other animals https://t.co/0br3gq88A1#PlanLikeAParkRanger pic.twitter.com/NAiDJiWniH
— Yellowstone National Park (@YellowstoneNPS) June 2, 2023