Smartphones have revolutionized our lives, helping us easily capture photos, delete subpar quality photos, take movies and edit photos. However, the personnel working at Yellowstone National Park is rapidly learning that visitors want to take bison selfies.
A report recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined five bison incidents from the summer of 2015. The results indicated that people need to keep their distance from bison and stop trying to take bison selfies. Bison are wild animals and their instincts are to attack people that invade their spaces.
All of the bison attacks occurred when people failed to maintain the park’s required 75-foot distance rule. These incidents all occurred around geyser basins, trails or developed areas where people readily had access to bison, but did not abide by the park’s rules. Three of the people were within six feet of the bison, taking photos. In fact, during two of the three photo-related injuries, people had turned their backs to the bison, which is extremely dangerous. One person was taking a cell phone selfie, which greatly agitated the bison.
Yellowstone National Park is home to more than 5,000 wild bison. Adult male bison can weigh approximately 2,000 pounds and have recorded speeds that are faster than an Olympic sprinter. As with all wild animals, bison can be dangerous and unpredictable, especially when spooked.
The National Park Service distributed flyers, posts signs about the danger of bison and park rangers clearly explain the hazards of approaching wild animals. Park regulations are very clear about maintaining a distance of 300 feet from wolves and bears and 75 feet from other wildlife. However, an increasing number of visitors, including foreign tourists and first-time visitors, are either not heeding these warnings or intentionally ignoring them.
While Smartphones are perfect for casual photographers, they also lack zoom capacity, which is contributing to more people closely approaching wildlife.
Last year, approximately 4 million people visited Yellowstone National Park. As 2016 celebrates another year, Yellowstone is trying to thoroughly educate tourists about close encounters with wildlife, including safety-related issues.
Yellowstone Holiday is located outside of the West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. It provides excellent accommodations, including a Yellowstone RV campground, Hebgen Lake lodging and Yellowstone campgrounds.
This year, Yellowstone National Park is expected to have the same number, if not more, visitors than last year. Tourists should book their trip with Yellowstone Holiday early to ensure comfortable accommodations.