Rangers at Yellowstone National Park are investigating an incident caught on video showing a man foolishly taunting a growling bison that held up traffic in the Hayden Valley area of the iconic national park.
“The individual’s behavior in this video is reckless, dangerous, and illegal,” park superintendent Dan Wenk told BNQT in an email. “We need people to be stewards of Yellowstone, and one way to do that is to keep your distance from wildlife.”
Visitors are required to remain at least 25 yards from animals like bison and elk, and 100 yards from bears and wolves, according to park regulations. These distances safeguard both visitors and the remarkable experience of sharing a landscape with thousands of freely roaming animals, the park says.
“People who ignore these rules are risking their lives and threatening the park experience for everyone else,” Wenk told BNQT.
Video of the incident was captured by Lindsey Jones of Elko, Nev., Tuesday evening and it shows the man seemingly challenging the bison to approach him. When it does he scampers away.
The unidentified tourist was fortunate to have walked away unharmed.
It’s been reported that at least one person is gored by a bison each year at Yellowstone.
On June 6, Kim Hancock, 59, of Santa Rosa, Calif., was gored by a bull bison at Fountain Paint Pot in the Lower Geyser Basin, the park reported. She was among a crowd of people that approached within 10 yards of the bison while walking along a boardwalk. She was transported to Big Sky Medical Center in Big Sky, Montana, where she was treated for a hip injury.
It was the second incident of a bison injuring a visitor in 2018, according to the National Park Service. There was one incident in 2017 and five in 2015.
A park spokesman told BNQT that many bison attacks go unreported.
Photo is a screen grab from video.