Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

Bison: A NAR Guide

, , , , , , , , | Right | September 21, 2022

I am fifteen years old, on a family vacation driving through half a dozen states. One of the stops in South Dakota, aside from Mount Rushmore, is to the Wind Cave National Park. As we’re making our way through the main road in the park, we can see on the open prairie, about twenty feet from the side of the road, a herd of bison. Up close, they kind of look like big, dumb, cuddly teddy bears, and that’s actually what a lot of people seem to think.

There are a good dozen cars or more parked along the side of the road, and we join them, pulling to the side. The bison are maybe twenty or twenty-five feet away from us and they’re just grazing. To my amazement, I see people exiting their vehicles and approaching the bison like they’re pet dogs that are begging for attention. These people must have a death wish. A male bison can exceed 2,000 pounds, and they can turn a car onto its side. These people are extremely lucky it’s not mating season and there aren’t any calves around.

I make a comment to my mom and stepdad about how stupid those people are to be approaching those bison. My younger brother, who is about nine, says he wouldn’t even want to get close to one of them.

By now, half a dozen cars have emptied and most of the occupants are within six to eight feet of the bison. The bison haven’t moved an inch. They’re still standing in the same spot they have been, but they’ve now started to lift their heads up from grazing and they’re watching these people approach them. The people are snapping pictures, lifting their little kids up high, trying to make it look like the kids are on top of the bison and riding them (like how people take pictures of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to make it look like they are pushing it back up).

This goes on for five or six minutes, and then up the road comes Ranger Rick in his jeep. He parks his jeep, jumps out, and starts sternly talking to all the people out of their cars.

Ranger Rick: “What is wrong with all you people? These are not domesticated animals! They are to not be approached nor fed. Even stopping by the side of the road inside your vehicle can be dangerous if one of the males decides to charge you. I’ve witnessed them turning cars over and people getting seriously injured! Go back to your vehicles and leave.”

Murmurs come up from the group of people that are still wandering within spitting distance of these bison, and most of them are just looking at Ranger Rick like he’s a fool.

Ranger Rick: “You are putting your children’s lives at risk bringing them out of the vehicles. Please, go back to your vehicles.”

A few more murmurs come up from the people walking around. A couple of people head back to their cars, but most stay put.

Ranger Rick: “Anyone out here that does not get in your car and leave the area right now will have their vehicle information handed to the cops and fined for trespassing. If you stay, any harm that may come to you or your loved ones or your property, the state will not reimburse you. You will be responsible for all fees and fines should any rescue efforts be required.”

People start making their way back to their vehicles and piling in to leave.

My stepdad flags down Ranger Rick after everyone has moved along.

Step-Dad: “Do you have to do this often?”

Ranger Rick: “Almost every day. People think these bison are big domesticated dogs. I used to be amazed at the sheer stupidity of people, but after having to do this almost every day, I now find it just sad how ignorant most people are.”

Step-Dad: “Is it true that you’ve seen bison turn a car on its side?”

Ranger Rick: “Yep, a few times. It’s rare, but it does happen. It’s generally because someone spooks the bison because they exited their vehicle and got too close, especially with young calves around. Thank you for not being one of those families that got out of your vehicle. You guys enjoy the rest of the park.”

Ranger Rick waved and headed back to his jeep. It looked like he decided to stick around for a bit to tell grown adults that they were dumb if they exited their vehicles and tried to approach the bison.

I couldn’t believe my ears and eyes. Most people out of their vehicles cared more about not getting fined or having to pay fees than about the safety of their families, especially young children.

Question of the Week

What is the most stupid reason a customer has asked to see your manager?

I have a story to share!