Yellowstone Tourists Should Give Bison Some Space

Several Yellowstone visitors were gored this year

Remember: give bison a lot of space. A lot.
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Yellowstone National Park is home to an unparalled array of wildlife and some of the most stunning locations in the country. Still, it’s not without its hazards: earlier this month, a bison gored a South Carolina woman. That wasn’t the first such incident to take place in 2024; in April, a resident of Arizona faced an irate bison and wound up gored as well. That, in turn, is promoting the National Parks Servcice to reiterate a simple instruction: don’t get too close to bison.

You may recall the viral 2020 clip of reporter Deion Broxton seeing a bison approaching and immediately getting out of its way. There’s a reason why experts hailed Broxton and instructed others to follow his lead: bison are much larger than humans, much faster than humans and have horns. If a bison decides it wants you out of its way, it’s probably going to go very badly for you.

Writing at The New York Times, Derrick Bryson Taylor chronicled a series of recent human-bison interactions at Yellowstone that have gone badly for the humans. Taylor spoke with several experts in the field, including bison expert Jon Grinnell. Grinnell spoke of the educational value of encountering bison in the wild — as long as humans give them a safe berth.

“It’s much better to respect the animals and give it space and not have to have that selfie taken with the bison bull,” Grinnell told the Times. According to what the National Park Service told the Times, that space should be at least 75 feet.

Why Are So Many Tourists Getting Attacked by Bison at Yellowstone?
Three people have been gored by the animals in the last two months alone

Among the advice the experts provided in the Times was to be especially wary of bison with their calves, and not to make too much noise if you encounter one in the wild. “They’re not bears, you don’t need to be yelling, they know you’re there,” South Dakota State University’s Jeff Martin said.


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