Don’t Pet the Bison in US National Parks!

US National Parks

This post definitely could be categorized as stupid news and/ or an obvious warning…

Many people will be visiting US National Parks this year. National Park Week is currently going on where the entrance fee is free until April 24.

One of the most dangerous animals are bison and according to a Google search, “In Yellowstone National Park alone, nearly five times  as many people are killed by bison than by bears every year.”

While I haven’t seen bison in a national park, we did see loads of them in Custer State Park in South Dakota a few years back. Based on reading about these big and powerful animals and seeing them in person, it’s probably pretty obvious that you should never approach them or get to close.

In fact, Yellowstone National Park rules state that “you must stay at least 25 yard away from large animals like bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyote“.

I’ve yet to visit Yellowstone NP but I’d guess that the rules related to park safety are posted when you enter.

A Youtube video titled, Woman approaches and pets bison has got quite a bit of press over the past few days. I first came across it in an article from Fox News.

In the video, a woman approaches a bison relaxing on the grass by the Old Faithful Lodge and also pets it. When I first read the story, I couldn’t believe that someone would actually think this was a good idea to try.

It turns out that she walked away without injury but could still face fines from the park.

The encounter took place on the park’s opening day. As the woman was up close with the bison, “at one point, the animal jerked up its head, hitting the woman in her hand as she stroked its fur.” Imagine if the bison got up and charged at her instead!

After the woman walked away from the bison, it showed her walking towards another person recording the encounter from much further away who is “possibly a companion“.

So again, this post is a warning- stay back and don’t pet the bison at US National Parks.

Find out more from Fox News and check out the video here.

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