Video: Bison Charges Kids, Parents Laugh
You've probably seen this video before, or at least one like it. Taken last week in the Yellowstone National Park, it shows visitors getting too close to a wild bison that eventually loses its patience and charges. In this case, though, the visitors are kids, and the adults who accompanied them knew the danger the bison posed and ignored it. At one point, the camera operator says "See him gesturing? See his head movements? 'I will get you. I will get you.'" Still, the presumably responsible folks egged the kids on as they approached the refrigerator-sized animal. When it finally snapped, singling out the smallest boy in the group, that kid had to run (literally) for his life. Lucky for him, he got away, and it didn't end like this. Not so lucky for him, the adults laughed at him.
So let this be yet another reminder, that wild animals are, well, wild. Don't pet or approach them even if, like bison, they don't have long claws or sharp teeth. Bison grow in excess of 1,800 pounds, can run up to 30 mph (Usain Bolt, by comparison, has topped out at 27.28 mph), and cause more human injuries than all other Yellowstone wildlife combined. This is not an animal to be messed with, and certainly not one to urge your kids to approach. I guess it's no wonder that the Park Service is doing so much to stop stupid behavior in the national parks.
The West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce posted the vid to its Facebook page with this stern note:
"This video is one that makes us angry, expecially 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. Yellowstone is an incredible place that allows us all to experience wildlife in a way that can you can no where 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 responsiblity to take the time to understand and follow them, and provide the example for others."
Amen, West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce. Amen.