Footage of tourists trying to pat and take selfies with bison at a US national park has gone viral with many labeling the acts “insane”.
In one video that was posted to TouronsOfYellowstone on May 22 and credited to Russ Bjorn on Instagram, a woman can be seen extending her hand in an attempt to touch the bison while a friend takes photos.
However, the wild animal that’s seen eating at the time, instantly reacts and charges at the woman causing her to flinch and run away as she falls to the ground.
The frightened screams of the group can be heard in the background.
The footage was taken at Yellowstone National Park — an American national park located in the western United States
Meanwhile, another video of a woman inches away from a resting bison at Biscuit Basin in the national park has also gone viral.
She is seen taking selfies with the large animal as it sits on the grass to eat.
“She was trying to pat it. It was insane. Like inches,” TouronsOfYellowston captioned the clip that was credited to Helloquan.
“Her arrogance was so infuriating. People were telling her to move away and she kept posing for like 10 minutes.”
She managed to luckily escape unscathed as the wild beast did not react — however, the “reckless” acts of the tourists have been slammed, with many left outraged.
“People should be arrested for this, ignorance like this is why people continue to get hurt,” one person commented.
“She’s lucky they didn’t have a calf with them,” another wrote.
A third person added: “All for the selfie. Self absorbed entitled ignorance. Our future, ugh.”
The Instagram page dedicated to the national park posted another three clips in a row with tourists trying to take selfies with bison, adding “It’s only a matter of time before a human goes flying!”
National Park Service (NPS) — a US government agency — warns tourists to stay at least 25 yards away from bison, adding that approaching bison threatens them, and they may respond by bluff charging, head bobbing, pawing, bellowing, or snorting.
“These are warning signs that you are too close and that a charge is imminent,” it states on its website.
“The animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be. The safest (and often best) view of wildlife is from inside a car.”
It also warns that bison have injured more people in Yellowstone than any other animal.
“Give bison space when they are near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area,” it continued.
“If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity.”
Yellowstone National Park preserves the most important bison herd in the US, according to the NPS.
It is the only place in the country where the near-extinct animal has lived continuously since prehistoric times.
It is home to a substantial bison population, ranging from 2,300 to 5,500. Around 5,900 bison were counted in the summer 2022.
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