Yellowstone is a place of beauty, with rivers, waterfalls, canyons, forests and fields. It’s unsurprising that the national park is so popular with tourists, especially now that many of us have a newfound appreciation for nature after spending so long in quarantine.
But what people often forget about Yellowstone is that it isn’t theirs to do what they want on. The land technically belongs to the state of Wyoming, but some would say that the animals that live in the region consider it more of their home than anyone else.
It’s not uncommon to come across wolves, elks, and eagles in Yellowstone. There are also coyotes, deer and even grisly bears. But what Yellowstone is unarguably known best for is its wild bison.
Bison are one of the most easily provoked animals. Yet it’s thought that 80% of bison attacks occur when people willingly approach them, which raises the question of who is really at fault.
It’s a wise idea to stay well away from bison if you plan on visiting Yellowstone. There are signs around the park warning of the potential dangers of crossing paths with a bison herd, yet some people choose to ignore them.
A video shared to Facebook on Friday shares the horrifying moment that saw two women being chased by a pair of bison in a field. Perhaps they had missed the warnings not to get too close to these unpredictable animals – but what happens next would surely deter them from ever stepping foot in a bison field again.
The unidentified women can be seen running for their lives as the bison pick up speed behind them. Those watching behind the camera scream in horror at the sight, sure certain they’re about to witness something terrible.
It doesn’t look as if the women will outrun the bison – but then one woman trips and falls flat on her face in the field, drawing the bison to a stop and giving her friend a chance to run to safety.
The terrified woman must have thought that her life was about to end. Panicked bystanders call for her to “play dead”, and she does, lying motionless in the grass as one of the bison sniffs and jumps around her.
For several painstaking seconds, the bison continues to sniff his prey.
But playing dead seems to have done the trick, as when a brave stranger hurries over to shoo the bison away, it eventually takes off into the field.
The woman is helped to her feet and moves quickly to safety with the stranger. She might have felt that her experience couldn’t have been any worse, but in a way, falling over probably saved her life.
Bison can run at speeds of up to 35 mph, so she and her friend would have most likely been caught up with ii the end. And if she was standing when that happened, she may have been tossed into the air and seriously injured.
As more and more of us have taken to hiking during lockdown, this video highlights the importance of being aware of your dangers while out in nature. Providing you take the right measures to stay out of trouble, something like this need never happen to you.
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‘PLAY DEAD!’ A woman in Yellowstone National Park was unharmed after a bison charged toward her as frightened onlookers urged her to lay still on the ground. https://abcn.ws/3eIEDhb
Posted by ABC News on Monday, 20 July 2020