The American bison is one of the most majestic wild animals in our country. Yellowstone National Park is famous for them. Now, that iconic creature is making headlines for the wrong reasons, and it's all thanks to dumb tourists with smartphones.
Bison have been known to charge at people who invade their personal space; this time it was a 43-year-old Mississippi woman and her 6-year-old daughter. The two were in the midst of taking a selfie in front of a wild Yellowstone bison when it decided to charge at the two.
The mother tried to run but was chased down by the massive animal and had to be taken to the hospital for minor injuries. Her daughter escaped unscathed. Bison can run up to 30 mph so the two were lucky to walk away pretty much unharmed.
The Yellowstone National Park recommends that tourists stay at least 25 yards away from the bison but it was later determined that the two were less than 6 yards away. All of this for a stupid selfie!
"People are getting way too close,” park spokeswoman Amy Bartlett told the AP after the attack. She continued, “The [woman] said they knew they were doing something wrong but thought it was OK because other people were nearby."
“Yellowstone is the only place in the United States where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times,” according to the National Park Service website. “A number of Native American tribes especially revere Yellowstone’s bison as pure descendants of the vast herds that once roamed the grasslands of the United States. The largest bison population in the country on public land resides in Yellowstone. It is one of the few herds free of cattle genes.”
There are over 5,000 bison running around Yellowstone, and if you see one along your travels, don't stop to snap a selfie. It probably won't end well.
Here's a short video of what happens when you get too close to a wild bison (don't worry - no one gets hurt):