One of the staples of Yellowstone Park is the large groups of buffalo that roam the countryside. They may look perfectly lazy and docile when they are standing there grazing. They are laid-back… when they are left alone. If they perceive a threat to themselves or members of their herd, they can be decisively destructive… and pity the person or animal that happens to be in their path. This video here shows a potential “wrong place, wrong time” scenario unfolding in real time.
A woman named Elsa is filming this while she sits on a motorcycle. There’s other people in cars in the area, but those people won’t be able to do a thing if this male charges at her, thinking that she’s a danger to his wife and kid. The giant buffalo eyes the situation, considering what to do. The cars and Elsa continue waiting… until he sidles to the side and adopts his usual grazing pose. A grateful Elsa then rides on by the road.
I can understand the fear that Elsa felt while sitting on that motorcycle. Having a potentially angry male buffalo looking at me while I sat on a motorcycle, wide open to a charge would make me very nervous too. She wouldn’t have been safe from that even if she was wearing Iron Man armor. Fortunately, the male decided that they weren’t a threat to him… and more importantly, not a threat to his wife and child. That day ended well for all.
There are always stories about doofuses who think that these buffalo are actually tame, despite the warning from the rangers at Yellowstone for them to stay far, far, far away from these animals. It’s fascinating to be able to get as up close as they are, but a healthy distance is still necessary. But some people still want to get selfies with these animals… and there’s a reason why there are still the Darwin Awards.
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