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Yellowstone National Park tour bus driver Randall Champion was making his rounds through the park recently when he spotted a visitor ignoring the safety rules and almost getting seriously injured by a bull elk.
“Instances like this happened almost every day,” Randall told USA Today.
Randall said he has witnessed many incidents of people disregarding the park guidelines of viewing the wildlife from a safe distance and this was just the latest example of this he was able to get on video.
At the time of this recording, Randall said there were three bull elk bugling at each other because they were competing for the same group of females that were grazing on a lawn nearby.
“Everyone’s attention was on this bull as he and another bull were bugling at each other,” Randall explained. “I saw this idiot walk out onto the lawn to film the bull without realizing he was now between the bull and the cows. You can see when the bull turns his head back, he sees the idiot and slowly starts lowering his head and moving towards him.
The guy just keeps filming as the bull elk picks up speed and comes towards him. Randall said that everyone around him was watching what was going on and tried to warn him, but he was just not listening.
“They start yelling at him, and at the last instance, he realizes he is in trouble, and in a panic he tries to run but can’t coordinate his limbs and down he goes,” Randall said. “He scrambles up and almost gets hit by a car.”
The man gets back up to his feet and is seen laughing at what just happened to him.
“I think it’s a nervous laugh because everyone is yelling at him how stupid he is, and he is embarrassed when he realizes they’re right,” Randall said.
Yellowstone National Park has many signs all throughout the park that states that visitors are to stay at least 25 yards away from elk, bison, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes. It’s 100 yards for bears and wolves.
Keeping your distance from wild animals and not petting them are just some of the commonsense guidelines that many of the visitors fail to comprehend.
Randall talked about other inccidents with tourists: “Like the father telling his kids to go sit on the back of an elk that was lying down so he could get that photo, or the lady that was trying to pet the 2,000-pound bison, or the teenage girls who thought the little bear cubs were cute and wanted to go pick one up while the mother bear was standing on hind legs getting ready to charge.”