A bison being admired by tourists at a dangerously close range took off running after a small child in a harrowing encounter at Yellowstone National Park. Apparently the angry buffalo was being egged on by the cameraman or someone close by. West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce officials were definitely not as amused as the laughing, fleeing man in the blue shirt and shorts. Watch the chilling video:
If you watch the entire YouTube video you can make out voices saying, “He’s friendly” and “Oh my gosh” and “See him gesturing? See his head movements?: ‘I will get you. I will get you.’”
After two people cautiously walk past the buffalo on the wooden walkway, the dangerous animal decided to charge the remainder of the group, setting its sights on the small boy. “Justin! Run Justin!” said one voice, presumably his mother.
Justin ran for his life. Literally.
West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce officials heard something else on the video, something disturbing. From the chamber’s Facebook page last week:
This video is one that makes us angry, especially at the irresponsible person behind the camera urging the children “to go ahead and touch him.” This group has no idea how incredibly lucky they were that no one was injured or killed.
Fortunately, this episode ended well with the bison abandoning its charge. But that wasn’t the case a few days before when a visitor from Thailand was gored by a bison in the Mammoth Hot Springs area of the park, according to USA Today.
Park spokesman Al Nash told USA Today that the closest safe distance to bison or elk is 25 yards while for bears and wolves it’s the length of a football field.
“Yellowstone is an incredible place that allows us all to experience wildlife in a way that you can nowhere in the world,” the West Yellowstone Chamber wrote.
“But, it is also a place where safety rules, regarding wildlife and thermal features, are so important to follow. As a leader, or parent, or guide, it is your responsibility to take the time to understand and follow them, and provide the example for others.”
Clearly, it’s best to heed this advice.
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