Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 10/09/2012

It’s not animals…

Brown Bear, originally uploaded by

It’s People That Do The Most Stupid Things… but then I suspect, Dear Reader, being as wise as you are, you’d already realised this! You may have seen recently the sad news of a hiker who got too close to a wild brown bear and paid the ultimate price just to get a close up snap… very sad, the signs are usually there – the last thing animals want to do is get involved in a tussle – even an animal that can weigh up to 630 Kg can be injured in any confrontation and when you don’t get your food from a supermarket it’s imperative you don’t suffer any injuries.

I was reminded about this story when I happened on some similar incident today, one that luckily didn’t end so tragically when tourists got a bit too close to an immensely powerful and impressive American Bison*. The video shows a group of visitors making their way along a boardwalk in the Yellowstone National Park who happen upon one of these large beasts standing adjacent to the wooden walk way they are making their way along. This shouldn’t have stressed the animal too much, however there were people approaching from the opposite direction, again getting as close as they could to take a photo. The animal is obviously unhappy at being cornered and make it’s plain… and when a 1,500 Kg plus animals makes it plain… well, you can’t help but notice. Amazingly the park visitors didn’t read the signals but were more intent on either photographing or trying to pass the beast both actions which the animal interprets as a sign of aggression and after as much postulating as possible responds in the only fashion he knows, he charges at the group who scatter. The animal hones in on the slowest of the group, a young boy, but luckily the visitor is much more agile than the careering brute and dodges out of the way.

Of course, in both instances, it’s the animals that get the bad wrap, not the lunacy of the people.. sorry.. now I’ve said wrap, all I can think of is horseradish, flour tortilla and buffallo steaks! So wrong but I suspect so tasty!

* These can weigh as much as 1700 Kg – so more than your average family car – it’s certainly more than my car weighs.


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