There are few more magnificent places in the world than Yellowstone National Park, which boasts 2.2 million acres of land to explore.
When making a visit, it’s important to remember you’re also entering the home of a number of wild animals, including elk, bears, and wolves.
One tourist got up close and personal with a wild bison, and it didn’t end well for them.
An image posted on the TouronsOfYellowstone Instagram account shows an unfortunate person pinned underneath the head of a clearly unhappy bison.
“What an idiot. Got what he was asking for up close and personal,” one user commented.
“Another moron! Can’t read and won’t follow the rules!” said another.
According to the National Park Service’s website, bison are responsible for more animal-related injuries in Yellowstone Park than any other animal. It’s recommended to stay at least 75 feet away from the animals at all times, as they can run three times faster than humans.
If this particular tourist had indeed read the park’s rules and advice as the commenter suggested, they would have known that approaching a bison threatens them, and warning signs like lowering their head, pawing, bellowing, or snorting would have suggested a charge was coming.
You can also determine a bison’s mood by looking at their tails. The National Park Service has said that if it’s hanging down naturally, it’s feeling calm. But if the tail is standing upwards, they may be getting ready to charge.
Regardless, since bison behavior is unpredictable, keeping a safe distance at all times is essential.
“Do not stand your ground,” the National Park Service recommends to those in a tricky situation. “Immediately walk or run away from the animal. Spray bear spray as you are moving away if the animal follows you.”
Bison are the largest land mammal in North America, and an adult male can weigh around 2,000 pounds.
Since bison have lived in Yellowstone since prehistoric times, it’s probably fair that they would want to defend themselves against unwanted attention in their own home. Hopefully, this tourist has learned their lesson and wasn’t hurt after the close encounter.
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