Theyre called wild animals for a reason A pamphlet distributed by the National Park Service to people entering Yellowstone National Park warns visitors not to get too close to bison, also known as buffalo (AP photos)
Theyre called wild animals for a reason
Lexile

A pamphlet drawing of a man being gored and flung into the air graphically warns tourists in Yellowstone National Park not to get too close to bison: They're wild animals and can be very dangerous.

Rangers distribute the flyer to people as they enter the park, but some visitors still aren't getting the message. Bison have gored two people in the Old Faithful area within the past three weeks.

Increased tourism up 18 percent in the park in May compared to the same month last year has put more people close to the animals, Yellowstone spokeswoman Traci Weaver said.

Most of Yellowstone is in Wyoming but it extends into Montana and Idaho, too.

"There's just a lot of people around and the temptation is there when a bison looks calm," Weaver said.

Still, she said the two attacks in such a short period were a statistical anomaly.

The latest attack on June 2 was an especially violent scene, as a bison charged a 62-year-old Australian man and flung him into the air several times.

A male American bison can weigh up to 2,000 pounds, bigger than a Smart car. They have horns that aren't just for grubbing around for tasty shoots.

Bison often behave much like cattle, lumbering about and lazing in the sunshine. But when they get a mind to, they can run up to 40 mph, or almost twice as fast as Usain Bolt's world-record speed in the 100-meter dash.

"I just don't think people realize how fast bison move. They're big animals, but they move quickly. And so when a bison becomes agitated, it doesn't take him long to cover that short distance," Yellowstone spokeswoman Amy Bartlett said.

The unidentified Australian was flown by helicopter to a hospital where he was treated for serious injuries and released.

The attack happened as a group of people crowded near the bison as it lay on the grass near a paved trail. The man was taking photos of the shaggy beast from just a few feet, but the whole crowd was much too close, park officials said.

Anything less than 75 feet is unsafe, they warn. Also, stop staring at your camera or phone, be aware of your surroundings and know that Yellowstone's wild animals are free to roam where they please.

If a bison is near a trail, don't go down that trail.

"Just because the animal is near the trail or boardwalk doesn't mean it's tame," Bartlett said.

Yellowstone's summer tourist season began a month ago and already the park has had some dicey run-ins between wildlife and tourists. A recent videotape showed camera-clicking tourists scrambling for their vehicles as a black bear and her cubs tried to cross a bridge in Yellowstone and began running in their direction.

Then on May 16, a bison in the Old Faithful area gored a 16-year-old girl from Taiwan as she posed for a picture near the animal. She also was treated at a hospital for serious injuries and released.

Some who encounter bears in Yellowstone aren't so fortunate. Bears have killed at least seven people in Yellowstone since the park was established in 1872.

But bison and elk, especially the big-antlered males during mating season each fall are responsible for more injuries to people, at least a couple every year. And Yellowstone has far too many tourists and wildlife for park rangers to even try to police every possible situation.

"A ranger can't be at every bison all the time," Bartlett said, "so people need to keep that common sense."

Critical thinking challenge: How can your phone be a hazard?

Filed Under:  
Assigned 12 times


COMMENTS (18)
  • Tdoles430
    6/09/2015 - 09:03 a.m.

    The way that they make them seem is that they are very nice and calm animals. But that is not the case. These animal can be very deadly. If you mess with them one rams into you those horns can peirce your body

  • KimberlyT1
    6/09/2015 - 11:09 a.m.

    Wild animals are wild animals, it doesn't matter if the look calm or peaceful. People should be more careful around animals. You shouldn't be looking at your camera or phone, you should really be cautious of their surroundings.

  • EdgarG1234
    6/09/2015 - 11:22 a.m.

    People like this that don't have common sense whatsoever deserve things like those idiots that got gored. They know that they shouldn't get close to bison. I don't feel sorry them. It people are looking for someone to blame then they should just look in a mirror. The park rangers can't be at every place at once and bison are known to be aggressive animals so people can only blame themselves.

  • NataliaA
    6/09/2015 - 11:23 a.m.

    If people know it is dangerous to go to Yellowstone National Park why are they still going and putting their life in danger. It is basically common sense to not get near a American Bison and try to keep away. A wild animal is hunting for food and just like a human does anything to have something on their plate a Bison is trying to do the same. If the people are being warn about the danger around their surroundings why are they still trying to take photos or can not stop looking at their phones/cameras. Knowing there is no way to win against a wild animal that weights about 2,000 pounds compare to a human being that weights around 140. The wild animals are free and no one can take their home away.

  • TF000Music
    6/09/2015 - 12:57 p.m.

    Your phone can be a hazard because one, you can drop it and an animal can eat it, and die. Another way that your phone can be a hazard to wild animals because you can take a picture with the flash on and the animal may not like that. The animal can go blind depending on what it is.

  • pp2000boa
    6/09/2015 - 12:59 p.m.

    I think they should put a borderline marker as a limit to how close you can get to the bison. People should also have a rule to when take a picture, because the park rangers are the experts.

  • CapeleyZ-1
    6/09/2015 - 05:42 p.m.

    This article was about how you should be safe at Yellowstone national park in Wyoming. Two people in the past three weeks have gotten ramed by bores. Because of this, State rangers have started passing out pamphlets to tourists showing someone being rammed. I think people should be safe around wild animals.

  • MaxG-4
    6/09/2015 - 10:33 p.m.

    This article is a combination of a warning and informative explanation of a recent events in Yellowstone.This led to a 62-Year Old Australian man being sent to the hospital for being to close to a Bison. They cannot quite police everything and animals wander. So they can't just set a border around it.They make a valid point in stating this. Then with recent technology development, people try to take pictures of or with the animals while to close. This can distract people from the real world and could end up being the cause of death for some people.

  • Jake7010
    6/10/2015 - 12:02 a.m.

    This is why we are not living to the expected years they thought we would. the human race is being a lot more stupid then we thought. with less common sense.The more we drop out of school and goof off there is going to be a lot of stupid people in this place we call the earth. We need to be smarter as a group of humans

  • Jake7010
    6/10/2015 - 12:02 a.m.

    This is why we are not living to the expected years they thought we would. the human race is being a lot more stupid then we thought. with less common sense.The more we drop out of school and goof off there is going to be a lot of stupid people in this place we call the earth. We need to be smarter as a group of humans

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT