It’s been a rough couple of weeks for travelers who enjoy America’s national park, with the hantavirus outbreak at Yosemite and now a way-too-close encounter between a young park guest and a very large bison at Yellowstone National Park. It’s not uncommon for visitors to Yellowstone to witness wildlife up close, and bison present the majority of those opportunities. However, nearly every map, brochure, posted sign, and announcement from the Parks Department urges people to maintain a safe distance between themselves and the park’s four-legged inhabitants. The folks in the video below, however, chose to ignore these warnings and narrowly avoided disaster.
Bison frequently cross over paths that have been installed for park visitors. Common sense dictates that you give these massive creatures a wide birth as they go by. Park rules require that guests stay 25 feet away from large animals and 100 feet from bears. The people shown in this video are closer to the bison than most commuters are to each other in a New York City subway. Before too long, they were running for their lives, and one young guest was nearly trampled. Sound terrifying? The adults involved seemed to find the whole incident delightfully amusing.
Seriously, everyone, this is not a petting zoo. Yellowstone is the closest thing that the United States has to a safari. Actually, it really is a safari. These animals are not domesticated. They are not there for our amusement. They live there. They eat there. They raise and protect their young there. And they will kill there, if threatened. Respect the rules that have been put in place at our national park and respect the wildlife.
Video via Gawker.