A man was captured on video taunting a bison in Yellowstone National Park this week—in an incident that was criticized by U.S. park rangers.
“We need people to be stewards of Yellowstone, and one way to do that is to keep your distance from wildlife,” park Superintendent Dan Wenk told local station BNQT on Aug. 2.
The man’s “behavior in this video is reckless, dangerous, and illegal,” Wenk said.
A video of the bison incident was captured by Lindsey Jones of Elko, Nevada, on Aug. 1.
Yellowstone National Park officials are now investigating, according to the station. The video shows that the man was taunting a growling bison and was holding up traffic in Hayden Valley. When the animal gets close, he scampers away.
The National Park Service (NPS) said, “Wild animals, especially females with young, are unpredictable and dangerous.”
It urges visitors keep a safe distance from all wildlife in the park, and it cites a number of injuries to people who got too close. “Approaching on foot within 100 yards of bears or wolves, or within 25 yards of other wildlife is prohibited. Please use roadside pullouts when viewing wildlife. Use binoculars or telephoto lenses for safe viewing and to avoid disturbing wildlife,” the NPS said.
On June 6, Kim Hancock, 59, of Santa Rosa, California, was gored by a bison at Fountain Paint Pot in the Lower Geyser Basin, according to the NPS.
“Hancock and a crowd of people approached within ten yards of the bison while walking along a boardwalk. At one point, people were closer than 15 feet from the bison. When it crossed the boardwalk, the bison became agitated and charged the crowd, goring Hancock. The bison immediately left the area,” the report stated, adding that in about a month, four people were injured by wildlife at Yellowstone.
Bison can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds and stand 6 feet tall at the shoulder, according to the Department of the Interior.