Commentary Funny and/or Strange nostalgia

Another Yellowstone Tourist Thumped By Bison? Go Figure.

I spent a few summers working in the tourist industry in Wyoming a few centuries ago, and I’m looking forward to taking my kids there to see the sights and meet some of my great co-workers for a reunion this summer.  It’s good to see some things haven’t changed–like killer nachos and tourists doing really, really stupid things that could–and inevitably do–get them killed. Bison attacks are perhaps the most ridiculous–in almot all cases, the 1500lb+ animals are standing around, like cows, chomping on grass, while tourists get closer and closer and closer.  The bison snort, their nostrils flare, they scuff the ground with their hooves…and the lady with the camera says “get a little closer….”

Yellowstone bison attack seriously injures Australian man, second park tourist hurt in 3 weeks

I’m curious.  What parts of this are unclear?  Anybody?  (Note the blood on the bison’s horn, and the splatter from the touron’s thigh–a nice, subtle, artistic touch, I think.) When I was young, these were handed out to everyone who entered the park–unless I’m wrong, strong english reading skills aren’t required to get the gist.


By JunkChuck

Native, Militant Westsylvanian (the first last best place), laborer, gardener, and literary hobbyist (if by literary you mean "hack"). I've had a bunch of different blogs, probably four, due to a recurring compulsion to start over. This incarnation owes to a desire to dredge up the best entries of the worst little book of hand-scrawled poems I could ever dream of writing, salvageable excerpts from fiction both in progress and long-abandoned. and a smattering of whatever the hell seems to fit at any particular moment. At first blush, I was here just to focus on old, terrible verse, but I reserve the right to include...anything. Maybe everything, certainly my love of pulp novels, growing garlic, the Pittsburgh Steelers and howling at the moon--both figuratively and, on rare occasions, literally.

25 replies on “Another Yellowstone Tourist Thumped By Bison? Go Figure.”

Reblogged this on Daily (w)rite and commented:
Each morning, I read the news, I’m astonished by some of the ill-advised stuff people do.

I read this post, and had to snort with laughter: what part of “Do not approach a wild animal” is difficult to understand?

I’m happy that in this case the humans are punished for their stupidity– and can’t go unscathed as they do on various instances of wanton cruelty to animals.

I’ve been reading about a few of those on my Facebook, and writing a story that involves this. Nothing gives me a bigger smile than when I witness nature punishing human stupidity, or worse, viciousness. Far away from the practice of compassion I’ve been working at, I know.

Have you seen anyone being cruel to animals? Have you been witness to any animals giving humans their just dues? Any links to videos of people being a little dense around animals– and suffering for it?

Liked by 1 person

I’ll keep my eye open for nature v/ stupidity tales & images. When I worked in Grand Teton National Park the idiocy of people was magnified by both the sheer volume of travelers and the fact that so many were so far out of their element. Everyone is scared of the bears, of course, and for good reason, but people would try to pose with Elk–which weigh 800+ pounds and have huge antlers, and moose (even bigger, even crazier) and of course the Bison. And then there are the inevitable folks who walk off the designated paths in the geyser basins and get boiled to death in the volcanically heated water (doh!). There was even a swan attack while i was out there.

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As someone who lives in Wyoming, I couldn’t help but agree with you. Every time I hear something related to a tourist getting gored by a buffalo, I think: “Really? Again? What’s wrong with these people?”

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Yeh, it’s really amazing. Of course, as an employee we got a speech from NPS during the first week of work that was pretty much “Here are some of ways one of you will probably get killed this summer…” that included wildlife interaction, drowning, hypothermia, exposure, dehydration, boiling in thermal features, freezing in the mountains, plummeting to our doom from cliffs, and of course automobile crashes–either hitting a 1000lb plus ungulate or drunk driving home from the bars in Jackson. It was common sense, or so it seemed, but on the other hand: it was not uncommon for people to ask “what’s that white stuff up on the mountains?” then not believe us when we said “glaciers–snow and ice.” I ended up looking at is as a darwin thing.

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yeah, some parts of the park are so “touristy” I guess it makes people think it’s a theme park. but that doesn’t excuse treating wildlife like teenagers in wool suits, dressing up as giant mice for a summer gig. Sheesh…

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I think the problem is people are only looking at the calm demeanor of the animal and probably also think because of the size of the animal that they might move slow. It’s a sad shame though that people put themselves in dangerous situations that could be avoided.

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It’s good advice which I clearly haven’t followed! Unless “blowhard” is a niche–I’m all over the place, but my blog philosophy is to write like I’m sharing with friends whatever strikes my fancy.

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I grew up in Wyoming. I have no idea why tourists are so stupid about bison and other wildlife, but this stuff has been going on forever there. And yeah, swans are freakin’ evil. They can do serious damage with their wings.

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I saw a bunch of those videos going around Facebook and could only shake my head. My Japanese students (I’m in Japan) had a good laugh at their expense. 😛

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Oh man, don’t tell ’em–but the Japanese were some of the worst with the bison gorings. When we’d see headlines like “Another Tourist Gored By Bison” there would be immediate betting–Japanese loved to get close to the bison, Germans tended to dominate being boiled alive in the thermal features, and Americans were all about car accidents and grizzly encounters.

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