Yellowstone Visitor Takes a Selfie With a Bison Without Realizing How Much Danger He Is in

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: October 23, 2023
Share on:

There are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself safely in Yellowstone National Park but this is not one of them! In this extraordinary clip, we get to see several visitors getting very close to some bison. Given the size and power of these magnificent animals, this has got to be a risky thing to do. As the woman capturing the footage looks on in amazement, one man even poses close to a bison for a selfie. Scroll down to see the full remarkable clip of a very lucky tourist!

Watch the Extraordinary Clip Below!

What Are the Yellowstone Bison?

Bison are also sometimes called buffalo, but their scientific name is Bison Bison. They are the largest mammal in North America and are an important part of the culture of American Indian tribes. Having been driven to the brink of extinction by hunting in the 1800s, their history is bound up with the creation of Yellowstone National Park. Today, the Yellowstone herd numbers around 6,000 and they are one of the park’s major attractions. These animals can roam relatively freely over a large area, they congregate in large groups and migrate.

Yellowstone bison are found primarily in the northern and central regions. They occupy several habitats including sedge meadows, uplands, and forests. The bison can be seen using areas warmed by hydrothermal features during the winter.

1,249 People Couldn't Ace This Quiz

Think You Can?
Bison herd in Yellowstone National Park

There are around 6,000 bison in Yellowstone National Park.


Are Yellowstone Bison Dangerous?

Yes, any animal that is as large and powerful as a bison is potentially dangerous to a human. There have been incidents of humans being severely injured by bison.

During the summer of 2023, a 47-year-old woman from Arizona was badly injured by a bison in Yellowstone National Park. Even though she was walking away from the animals, they charged at her and gored her.

During 2022, at least two other people suffered similar injuries including a 71-year-old Pennsylvanian woman who was gored by a bull bison. Bison injure more people in Yellowstone than any other animal!

How to Stay Safe Around Bison

The Yellowstone authorities have issued clear advice on how you should behave around bison. It emphasizes their unpredictability and their running speed which is three times that of a human.

You should ALWAYS stay at least 25 yards away from bison. The advice applies everywhere including campsites and trails. When you approach a bison, they will interpret that as threatening. Treat this clip as what not to do!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Tim Malek/

Share on:
About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.