Yellowstone investigating dangerous interaction with bison

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — A video making waves on the internet is sparking outrage and action from Yellowstone National Park officials.

The video, posted to Youtube on July 8, captures a man petting a bison over the guardrails of a crowded Yellowstone boardwalk. But a couple of pieces of plywood are hardly an obstacle for a bison that weights at least 1,200 pounds (male bison can weigh up to 2,200 lbs).

The man who posted the video says it was recorded on June 30.

Park officials are investigating the incident as a violation of the law.

In a statement, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly said the man captured on video “showed an incredible lack of judgment and common sense.

“Not only did he put himself and others at risk; he violated regulations designed to keep these animals wild,” Sholly said. “We expect better from our visitors.”

It should be noted that others captured in the video, including the cameraman, failed to keep a safe distance from the animal. Yellowstone National Park reminds visitors that “wildlife in the park are wild. When an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space. Stay 25 yards (23 m) away from all large animals — bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes — and at least 100 yards (91 m) 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.”

This is the second bison-related incident in Yellowstone National Park in as many months. A 9-year-old girl was injured by a bison on July 22. The bison charged a group of people standing within five to 10 feet of the bison and tossed the girl into the air. She was treated at Old Faithful Clinic for injuries.

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