The Yellowstone National Park is the destination for today’s story. A terrifying incident occurred at the pack and the video went viral. In it are footages of a defenseless nine-year-old girl flung into the air by a charged bison. How on earth did this happen?
The 9-year-old from Odessa, Florida arrived the park with her parent on this fateful day. The big animal in question was grazing peacefully 20 minutes before the attack. Some group of tourists stood and watched the animal at a close range of about 5 feet0.
The animal suddenly got angry and became charged obviously because it got too many people within his territory. It felt they were encroaching his space and became agitated. It needed to send a message down their spines; especially, seeing that they had ignored the park officers’ warning to stay at least 25 yards from large animals such as bison, elk, and moose.
The charged bison ran in the people’s direction literarily saying “get out of here!” The adults screamed and ran in all direction leaving the little girl helpless and at the mercy of the “beast”. What could she have probably done in such a situation? Seeing others running, she took to her heels but was overcome by the bison and the rest is history.
What next did we see in the video? A flying piece of rag dolly? Not at all. That only existed in our imagination. The little girl was the one flying. The bison had launched her into the air.
She went up like a piece of paper blown away by the wind, dangled helplessly in the air, and landed on the ground. Her lightweight must have been an advantage to the bison who probably didn’t exert much energy to lift her into the air.
Did the “harmless buffalo turn beast” pass its message across well? Of course, the message is very clear. “Wild animals must be treated with respect, and be given plenty of space.”
It is, however, a pity that the victim and immediate receiver of the message is a vulnerable child. Although the little girl did survive the incident, the lesson learnt was a hard one. She might be traumatized for a while and would even need the assistant of a therapist to pull through. She did be scared of cattle all her life. She was reportedly rushed to Old Faithful Clinic after receiving some first aid treatment from the park emergency medical team.
To millions who visit wildlife reserves, national parks and zoos now and then, it is important to know that all living things have their personal space and would not want such space encroached. You should respect these spaces and never get too close.
Wondering what the yardstick is? Use the warning signpost or ask the park authorities. The consequence of getting too close to wild animals are as real as the animals themselves.
Keep good distance and protect your little ones.