Last updated: 10:00 AM ET, Fri April 22 2016

Please Refrain From Petting Yellowstone's Bison

Impacting Travel | Gabe Zaldivar | April 22, 2016

Please Refrain From Petting Yellowstone's Bison

Image via Facebook

There are certain things you can do in order to raise the odds that you live a long and healthy life. Eat well; drink less and exercise more. Oh, and refrain from petting any 2,000-pound animals.

That last part seems easy to do, even if you are enjoying the sights and sounds at Yellowstone National Park.

One intrepid traveler decided to walk right up to a bison recently and pet it. The video, posted to Facebook by user Eugena Mike True, features a woman who walks up to a reclined bison and then pets it on the head.

The bison then reacts in a way that would make most passersby redecorate their underpants. In this case, the lone brave soul just walks smoothly away.

It’s unbelievable, but quite real:

KRTV spoke with park spokeswoman Amy Bartlett who stated that there was an investigation occurring on the matter but there is not as yet any certainty as to the identity of the person in question.

Bartlett did tell KRTV: “When you harass wildlife, you could face a citation or a mandatory appearance in front of a federal magistrate.”

Let that be a lesson to you. If you get too close, you could face serious repercussions.

But let’s say that you aren’t the type to care about such trivialities. Well, there is always the possibility of being gored that might dissuade you from treating the park like a petting zoo.

The National Park Service has a video on its website that illustrates the immediate danger you will find yourself if you happen to be in the range of a massive bison. 

The Washington Post reports on a 43-year-old woman who was attacked in 2015 when an attempt at a selfie turned into a quick trip through the air thanks to a bison.

KRTV does release some stats: In 2015 five people were the unfortunate subjects of bison goring, and four had to leave the area by airlift because of the injuries.

A visit to Yellowstone should indeed feature a walk through nature. Get on out and smell the forest and enjoy the wildlife.

But when it comes to the latter, you need to keep a safe distance. This place may look serene, but it’s dangerous if you are senseless enough to get up close and test these animals.


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