A male bison can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and stand 6 feet tall. They can run up to 35 miles per hour and jump nearly 6 feet high and 7 feet to the side, making them a major threat when provoked. Humans most certainly cannot outrun a bison, and it is extremely dangerous to approach them. These giant animals are often easily confused; and though they are peaceful animals, bison can become aggressive and unpredictable.
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None of those facts stopped a wannabe influencer from taking a selfie just inches from a wild bison this weekend at Yellowstone National Park, captured by A. Quan or @helloquan on Instagram. According to the video shared by @TouronsOfYellowstone, the influencer refused to stop posing or vacate proximity to the bison despite onlookers warnings.
This unnamed visitor is incredibly lucky that the bison remained restful as she posed for nearly 10 minutes, according to reports from bystanders. A. Quan called this particular bison-approacher a “queen turon” (a derogatory term for tourists that are spotted with either unusual or “moronic” behavior in popular wildlife areas in Wyoming).
Much of the footage on the “TouronsOfYellowstone” Instagram account shows bold and uninformed tourists typically putting themselves in danger. There are multiple people shown approaching large animals such as moose, bison, and even a boiling geyser, most of which are attempts to get a better picture or video for social media. Comments on the post of the influencer demand punishment for the woman, as well as call to attention a larger problem as the desire for more likes and views continues to put wildlife fans in grave danger.
Bison have continuously lived only in Yellowstone National Park since prehistoric times and while they are not endangered, numbers have considerably dropped over the centuries from 60 million in the 300 years ago to 30 million today.
The Yellowstone National Parks safety regulations state that it is illegal to be closer than 25 yards to any wildlife, especially bison, and they require at least 100 years between visitors and bears or wolves. Penalties for rule-breaks can include fines of more than $10,000 and potential jail time as much as a year. Rule breakers are also banned from the park.
However, the greatest consequence of ignoring the rules is clearly severe injury or death.