Sometimes, it is best to leave wild animals alone. This man who visited the Yellowstone National Park truly learned this lesson the hard way.
Every summer people flock to national parks. Parents use this time to bond with their children. And both kids and adults alike are hoping to get a glimpse of the country’s natural treasures. A male tourist recently went viral for all the wrong reasons. He learned the hard way that messing with a bison is never a good idea.
Posted to Facebook by Lindsey Jones, the video shows a bison is causing a traffic jam on a road inside the Hayden Valley area of Yellowstone National Park. In the video, a man later on identified as Raymond Reinke, 55, of Pendleton, Oregon, can also be seen approaching the animal and he started shouting while beating his chest.
It is obvious that the bison is not in the mood. Provoked by the mn, he reacted by charging at him. The tourist was able to get away just in time as he dodged the bison. The animal turns his attention to other vehicles. The park rangers arrested Reinke on suspicion of harassing wildlife.
The Yellowstone’s website warns: “The animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be. The safest (and often best) view of wildlife is from inside a car. Always stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards away from all other animals, including bison and elk.”
Yellowstone spokeswoman Morgan Warthin said, “The fact that visitors are so passionate about Yellowstone and the animals is extraordinary. Yet we ask them to keep their distance to safeguard themselves and safeguard the remarkable landscape with hundreds of thousands of free-roaming animals.”
According to the National Parks Services, the animals at Yellowstone “tend to pay little attention to humans and cars.” They will often even come between 5 and 10 feet of cars. But compared to other animals at Yellowstone, bison have injured more people. The problem is that most tourists who visit the national park tend to think of Yellowstone as a zoo.
The bison is the largest land mammal in North America. Males or “bulls” weigh up to 2,000 pounds (900 kg) while females or “cows” weigh about 1,000 pounds (500 kg). A bison is agile and quick. It can run up to 35 miles per hour (55 kph). It can also pivot quickly which is its advantage when fighting predators that aim for hindquarters.
When visiting national parks, you always have to remember and remind everyone who is with you that most of the wildlife here is not contained “in any way.” They have the freedom to come and go within the park as they please. They won’t usually bother you, but if they feel that you are a threat in any way, then it’s a different story. Never treat them like zoo animals.
Mike Mooring, a biology professor at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego who spent more than a decade researching bison also added to never treat dangerous wildlife that weighs up to a ton “like it’s a tame pony.”
And when visiting Yellowstone, the first thing that visitors see is a sign of someone being tossed into the air by a bison. And that should be enough reminder for everybody.