Taking selfies with wild animals is utterly moronic, and yet that fact isn’t dissuading Yellowstone tourists from trying to snap smiling holiday photos alongside bison. On Tuesday, a 43-year-old Mississippian woman attempting this misguided stunt was charged by the angry animal and tossed in the air before escaping.
This latest Yellowstone bison victim, who had turned her back to the hairy beast even though it was barely six yards away, tried to flee but was apparently overtaken (because bison are definitely way a lot faster than you). Lucky for her, she only sustained minor injuries.
Others haven’t been so fortunate. In May, a 16-year-old Taiwanese girl was viciously gored by a bison while attempting to snap a selfie with the animal near the geyser Old Faithful. A 62-year-old Australian man was recently taking pictures within 1.5m of a bison when the beast charged him and tossed him in the air.
In each of these instances, the victim was only attacked after deciding to get within several feet of a several hundred kilogram animal. Which is the exact opposite of what you should be doing, according to the National Park Service:
Wildlife should not be approached, regardless of how tame or calm they appear. When an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, visitors must give it a wide berth and not approach it closer than the required minimum distances: 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.
Bison can run three times faster than humans can sprint and are unpredictable and dangerous. Visitors are advised to give the animals enough space and alter their plans to avoid interacting with an animal in close proximity.
I thought selfie sticks were bad, but this is another brand of idiocy entirely. Please refrain from snapping a photo next to a beast that could easily disembowel you, or worse, trying to jump on a wild animal’s back while your friends capture the moment on Vine. Please.