Tourist takes dangerously close selfie next to bison in Yellowstone National Park

The video, shot in the park's Biscuit Basin, shows the bison lying down on the ground as the woman stands inches away from its face, smiling at her camera.

A video shot on May 20 shows a woman taking a picture of herself standing dangerously close to a bison in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

The incident occurred in Biscuit Basin. The video shows the bison lying on the ground as the woman stands inches away from its face, smiling at her camera.

The person who shot the video noted their concern about the situation.

"We felt horrible for the bison," the photographer, who didn't want to give their name, told Storyful. "We knew if it just inadvertently stood up, she would be gored, and it would most likely have to be euthanized through no fault of its own."

Bison incidents at Yellowstone National Park

A number of incidents of tourists coming dangerously close to bison have occurred in the park.

On the same day as the incident in Biscuit Basin, another woman was nearly gored by a bison as she was having her picture taken near the animal.

Two other park tourists looking for a photo opp came too close to bison on May 8. One of the men stood about two feet away from a bison’s face while the other took a picture.


In another video shot on Aug. 8, 2022, two tourists were seen standing on the side of the road as they filmed two bison butting heads in the middle of the road.

Another park tourist came too close to a bison on April 27, 2022. The man walked up to the animal, which then turned around and charged at the man.

Guidance on how to stay safe around bison

The National Park Service cautions park visitors from approaching wildlife, especially bison. According to the NPS, bison have injured more people in Yellowstone than any other animal.

They said bison are unpredictable and provided the following guidelines for park visitors:

  • Always stand at least 25 yards away from bison, as they can run three times faster than humans.
  • Give bison space when they are near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot or in a developed area. If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity. 
  • Approaching bison threatens them, and they may respond by bluff charging, head bobbing, pawing, bellowing or snorting. These are warning signs that you are too close and that a charge is imminent.
  • Do not stand your ground. Immediately walk or run away from the animal. Spray bear spray as you are moving away if the animal follows you.

Even when tourists may try to help bison in certain situations, the outcome can be dangerous for the animal.


For more information on wildlife safety in Yellowstone National Park, visit the NPS website.