Tourist Chased By Moose In Yellowstone | Big Horn Basin Media

Tourist Chased By Moose In Yellowstone

Written by on May 24, 2024

The summer tourist season isn’t even a month old and people are having precarious interactions with wildlife in Yellowstone National Park.

On a recent visit to Yellowstone, one hiker filming a herd of moose in Round Prairie was surprised to spot two of the huge animals chasing after a park visitor who had chosen to get a little too close, and was sprinting to escape.

The potentially dangerous incident was captured by Leah Hilton and shared this week via Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone, which calls out careless behavior at U.S. National Parks, often involving wildlife.

As social media has become more ubiquitous, more incidents of less-than-smart tourists visiting the first nationally designated park in America have been more prevalent.

Other close calls have included people taunting elkharassing bison, and even chasing bears, all of which are federal crimes punishable by a hefty fine or even jail time.

The National Park Service (NPS) warns visitors that animals at Yellowstone are wild and can be unpredictable, no matter how calm they may seem in the moment. The best and safest place  to view them is from within a car, and you should always stay at least 25 yards (23 meters) away from bison, moose and elk.

Stay safe around moose

Moose are naturally more inclined to be inquisitive rather than aggressive, but they can attack people if they feel threatened, with serious consequences. They tend to react particularly strongly around dogs, which they see as wolves.

Last year, a woman was charged and knocked down by a cow moose while walking her dog in the Rocky Mountains. The animal headbutted and trampled her as she walked her pet on a wooded trail. She was taken to hospital for treatment, having been stomped on “several times,” according to television station KJCT.

Stay away from wildlife

On May 31, 2023, a Hawaii man pleaded guilty to intentionally disturbing wildlife in the park. The man grabbed a struggling newborn bison calf and pushed it up from the river and onto the roadway in the northeastern section of the park. The incident resulted in the death of the calf.

In 2022, there were two known incidents of visitors getting too close to bison resulting in the animals responding to the perceived threat by goring the individuals. Bison are unpredictable and can run three times faster than humans.

Elk calf
During the Memorial Day weekend, visitors placed an elk calf in their car while likely driving on U.S. Highway 191 in the park and brought the newborn to the West Yellowstone, Montana, Police Department. The elk later ran off into the forest and its condition is unknown. This incident is under investigation and there is no additional information to share.

Take the Yellowstone Challenge
Park rangers encourage anyone visiting Yellowstone to take the Yellowstone Pledge, act responsibly and safely, and set a good example for others and if a tourist sees see someone, in person or online, whose behavior might hurt them, others, or the park, tell a ranger or call 911.

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