There has been a steep rise in bison attacks on humans in Yellowstone National Park this year, which may be connected to a rise in visitors trying to take selfies or other close-up photos of the animals.
On Tuesday, a 43-year-old woman from Mississippi and her daughter turned their backs on a buffalo that was only six yards away to snap an Instagram-worthy pic, but she ended up getting Instagored.
The woman’s family drove her to a nearby clinic for treatment.
Visitors to Yellowstone National Park risk injury when allowing bison or other wildlife to approach within 25 yards.
The park service revealed what happened in a statement Wednesday when the bison attacked the woman in Yellowstone. Another incident occurred on June 23 when a Georgia woman, 19, was heading with friends to their vehicle after a late-night swim in the Firehole River when they noticed a bison lying ten feet way. Park authorities do what they can warn people not to get too close to animals, CNN reports.
Rule of thumb: If it’s a large, wild animal that you aren’t in any way trained to handle, then don’t touch it, don’t get close to it, and for the love of God, don’t risk your life to take a selfie with it. “A number of Native American tribes, especially revere Yellowstone’s bison as pure descendants of the vast herds that once roamed the grasslands of the United States”. Selfie-takers imagine that every object – animate or not – wants to be included in their egotistical memento.
And although it might seem to some animal rights activists like poetic (or photographic) justice if a selfie-seeker harassing a wild creature is attacked, it’s not so simple. “One factor that could be contributing to added encounters is increased attendance at the park this year”. Also, don’t sleep on bison.
A 16-year-old girl from Taiwan was gored by a bison in May while posing for a photo near Old Faithful, Yellowstone’s famous geyser.
Brandi Burgess poses with her daughter for a selfie just before she is flipped by a bison