Environment

Yellowstone tourist decides to pet bison

Tourist tests her luck by petting a bison in Yellowstone Park

The tourist was caught on video repeatedly trying to pet a bison lying down in the Old Faithful area of Yellowstone National Park on April 16. Surprisingly, the woman was not injured. Last year, several tourists were gored while trying to snap pho
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The tourist was caught on video repeatedly trying to pet a bison lying down in the Old Faithful area of Yellowstone National Park on April 16. Surprisingly, the woman was not injured. Last year, several tourists were gored while trying to snap pho

Last year was the year of the “bison selfie” around Yellowstone National Park, when several tourists were gored while trying to snap photos near the behemoths, which can weigh up to a ton.

This year the stakes were raised on opening weekend when a woman decided to treat the park as a petting zoo.

The tourist was caught on video repeatedly trying to pet a bison lying down in the Old Faithful area. The unidentified woman tried to pet the beast over and over again, even though any time her hand got close the bison thrust its horn up toward her hand.

The video was captured Saturday by Brett Johnson, the operations coordinator of a potato packing plant in St. Anthony, who has made an annual trip during opening weekend at Yellowstone for years.

“I’ve seen people do stupid things,” he said. “… This was by far the stupidest thing.”

Johnson said when he arrived the bison was standing, and the woman was trying to pet it. She left, and it lay down, and she came back for more.

“Holy cow. She’s doomed,” Johnson remembers thinking as he turned on his camera.

In the video, Johnson’s 9-year-old son, Bryce, comments while watching the woman: “I’d like to pet a buffalo, except I wouldn’t like to die.”

Smart kid.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that a second video of the incident was posted to Facebook by a woman named Eugena True. From that angle, a man who was with the bison petter can be seen filming her.

“This is the summer where one of my girlfriends got killed,” an unidentified man is heard saying, mocking the man who is filming.

The bison petter walked away unscathed, but it doesn’t always happen that way. A 2003 study found the bison is the most dangerous animal in Yellowstone, surpassing the fearsome grizzly bear.

Last year, five people were injured by bison in Yellowstone.

• A woman and her daughter made national headlines by posing for a selfie near a bison. It charged and threw the woman in the air.

• A 16-year-old girl was gored while she was posing for a picture between three and six feet from a bison.

• A 62-year-old Australian man was tossed into the air while taking pictures from between three and five feet away.

• A 19-year-old was gored after he finished swimming in the Firehole River one night.

• A 68-year-old woman was gored while hiking on the Storm Point trail.

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