A group of tourists allegedly caused a bison stampede in Yellowstone National Park after they got too close to the wild animals.
Park goer Lisa Stewart said she saw the group of tourists nearing the bison after the herd already seemed upset.
“The people saw them and started walking closer and closer toward the bison,” Stewart told USA Today/For The Win. “They [the bison] kept getting more agitated by the minute. They walked farther down. Out of my sight, but I could still hear them grunting and blowing.”
Stewart said she pulled out her phone to record what was happening – which still did not capture how many people were near the bison as they began to run.
“You only see about four-to-six people on the video, but there were more in the same spot the bison come running from,” Stewart said. “The fishermen grabbed their stuff and ran, and then you see the bison running, and I felt relief the people didn’t get trampled.
In the scary 30-second clip, the tourists can be seen standing close to the bison as they cross the water. They appear to try to run out of the way during the first wave of bison charging across the water. Then a second set of bison appear to turn and begin running toward the group.
Fortunately the animals turn before getting too close to the tourists.
“I could feel the earth rumbling under my feet when it was happening,” Stewart told For The Win Outdoors.
Stewart said she was amazed the group “didn’t heed the warning of grunting, snorting and stomping feet” of the bison. Though the group was not injured, Stewart told For The Win they received harsh words from bystanders for getting too close to the animals.
Yellowstone park rangers warn guests to stay at least 25 yards away from bison as they are unpredictable.
“Bison have injured more people in Yellowstone than any other animal,” the National Park Service writes on its website, noting the animal can run three times faster than humans.
Since the park has reopened after forced shutdowns for coronavirus, at least two people have been injured by bison, including a woman who was knocked to the ground by a bison the second day of the park’s phased reopening.