A tourist brazenly and illegally approached a bison alongside a boardwalk in Yellowstone National Park and, despite being told “don’t do it,” reached out and petted the head of the wild animal.
A Yellowstone spokesperson told USA Today/For The Win Outdoors that the “illegal act” caught on video by Earl Hughes is under investigation.
“The individual who recently was captured on video touching a wild bison along a park boardwalk showed an incredible lack of judgment and common sense,” said Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly in a statement sent to For The Win Outdoors on Tuesday.
“Not only did he put himself and others at risk, he violated regulations designed to keep these animals wild. We expect better from our visitors.”
At the beginning of the encounter, you can hear a man saying, “No, no, no, don’t do it, no,” but the unidentified man pets the bison anyway. When he attempted to pet it a second time, the bison pulled away, as did the man.
Yellowstone regulations state that tourists must remain at least 25 yards away from large animals such as bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes, and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves.
“If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity,” the park spokesperson said.
© Photos courtesy of Earl Hughes.
Comments below the video that is just gaining attention were unforgiving. Among them:
“Has common sense been bred out of people? I am at a complete loss for words!”
“I hate the fact that people like you are allowed in one of the most beautiful National Parks…People like this is a disgrace to the planet.”
“He thinks he’s clever and funny but in reality [stupidity] like this only encourages others who won’t be as lucky … he needs to be found, cited and fined and banned from NP’s for a certain period of time.”
“Just can’t fix stupid!”
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