Viewing wild animals in their natural habitat is always a treat. Being able to see wildlife up close can be even better, so long as it is safe for both people and animals. For some reason, viewing wild animals from a safe distance is not enough for some people. You would not believe some of the stupid ideas people have to get close to wildlife.
Bison are impressive animals, capable of running 30 mph despite weighing 2,000 pounds. Several visitors to Yellowstone National Park have learned the hard way that taking selfies too close to one of these wild animals can be disastrous.
A woman visiting Yellowstone with her daughter in June 2015 tried to take a selfie with a bison only a few yards behind her. The bison gave the woman more than she anticipated when it charged and hit her from behind, throwing her into the air. It was the fifth bison incident of the year involving tourists getting too close to these massive animals.
A teenage exchange student met a similar fate in May 2015 when she posed for a photo near a bison. The animal gored her and she was flown to a hospital for treatment.
A woman on vacation in Yellowstone National Park in May 2016 nearly had her vacation end in disaster. Not content to take a photo of an elk cow from a safe distance, the woman kept creeping forward trying for a better photo. Finally, the elk had had enough and charged at the woman. Park officials noted afterward that the elk had a new calf it was protecting.
Two international visitors were visiting Yellowstone National Park in May, 2016 when they spotted a bison calf that they say appeared to be cold. Not content to leave well enough alone, the tourists somehow loaded the calf into their vehicle and drove it to a ranger station. The calf later had to be euthanized because it could not be reunited with the herd. The pair of Good Samaritans were issued citations as park officials considered additional charges.
Perhaps the craziest idea of all time for getting close to wildlife happened last year in Haines, Alaska. In August 2015 a group of people were watching grizzly bears feeding on salmon across the river. As the wildlife viewers watched the bears from a safe distance, a man dressed in a realistic bear costume ran past and approached the bears. The bear-man made it to within a few feet of some grizzly cubs with the sow not far away when he was interrupted by a Fish and Game technician who happened to witness the bizarre incident. The man fled, still robed in his bear costume, but the Fish and Game technician managed to get his license plate number for police.