Tourists trying to get up close and personal with wildlife in Montana’s Yellowstone National Park were charged by a bison after ignoring signs the animal was agitated by their approach.
A video of the encounter posted on YouTube shows a group of seven people including some children, approaching the bison from a wooden walkway through the woodlands. While one takes pictures the other six people look and point and see how close they can get to the beast.
While it’s unclear what the people closest to the animal saw, the man taking the video can be heard saying that he sees the animal become agitated at the intrusion.
“…See his head moving, see his gesturing, saying, ‘I will get you. I will get you,’” the man says, while also encouraging them to “touch him on the head.”
The bison, which can reach speeds of 30 mph, can be seen moving his head back and forth before he takes off and charges after the group, following one child, who appears to be the youngest.
The boy runs, as someone off-camera is heard yelling, “Justin run!” and the bison circles until he takes off on a new path. Amazingly, no one was hurt in the incident and the adults involved, including the man filming the encounter, appear to laugh it off.
The video, which was posted in August, emerged just days after a San Diego man was mauled to death by a grizzly bear in Alaska’s Denali National Park after he stopped to take pictures of the animal.
The West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce posted the video of the bison incident to its Facebook page along with a warning.
“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,” the post continued. “Yellowstone is an incredible place that allows us all to experience wildlife in a way that can you can nowhere in the world. 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.”