Once again, tourists are getting too close to bison for photos
Yellowstone National Park has had to remind visitors once again not to get too close to the wild animals in the park. Many tourists seem to view the bison and other creatures as photo opportunities, with many attempting to get extremely close to the animals. The bid for the perfect selfie or photo is never ending, it seems.
The latest instalment in the Darwin Awards Photography Edition sees a video of a woman within petting distance of a huge bison in Yellowstone National Park. Her friend is nearby taking a photo. Next, the animal gets startled and moves quickly towards the woman, seeming to head butt her with its horns.
We hear the startled scream, and the woman, fortunately, manages to run away unharmed off the boardwalk. This time, this woman is lucky. Advice given on the park website says that this type of behaviour is a warning. If molested further, the animal could have charged and done some serious damage.
Every year people get gored by bison when they get too close, usually for the sake of taking a photograph or selfie. The problem is that you’re facing an angry 2000-pound animal.
According to Park officials at Yellowstone, bison are responsible for more visitor injuries than any other animal. Sometimes the animals will lumber along boardwalks towards visitors. In this case, it’s sometimes unavoidable to get too close. However, deliberately approaching an animal is a bad idea. Authorities advise turning around and backing up the other way if this happens.
Essentially, we all need to remember that national parks are wild areas of land with wild animals. This is sometimes difficult to remember, particularly in the USA, where the parks sometimes resemble more of a theme park than wilderness. However, these animals are wild, nonetheless.
You never know, maybe next tourist season, DIYP won’t have to report on more selfie attempts with animals that go wrong. Although unfortunately, I don’t see that happening.
Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe