The American Bison were hunted almost to extinction but are now being reintroduced to public and private lands. Some ‘tourists’ don’t seem to get the idea that these are wild animals. (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Some basic bison trivia just to give you an idea of their size and speed.

Head-and-body length ranges from 6.6 to 11.5 ft. long. Shoulder height in the species can range from 60 to 73 in. Weight can range from 701 to 2,205 lb. Both sexes have short, curved horns that can grow up to 2 feet. They can jump close to 6 feet vertically, and run 35-40 mph when agitated.

I spent one summer working at Yellowstone National Park. There is signage everywhere telling people that buffaloes are wild animals and not to approach them. I was standing in a valley with a coworker and several other tourists watching the small herd of buffalo from a safe distance. I watched a young couple start walking toward the bison. Dad, holding a 2 year old little girl says, “Get your camera ready honey, I’m going to put our daughter on this buffalo. It will be a memorable shot.” He didn’t listen to either of us when we warned him not to do that. It was dangerous. I ran back to get the ranger who was visiting with some folks not too far away. I asked him to come quickly and explained what the young couple intended. He ran for them and yelled “Stop!” They turned. He told them to back away slowly and they listened to him. He then gave them a piece of his mind starting with, “This is NOT Disneyland and these are WILD animals. Did you read the signs?” He unloaded a magnificent rant and before he was done the mother was in tears and the father was wide-eyed and most apologetic.

Minneopa State Park in southern Minnesota has recently introduced bison. The bison are doing fine and adjusting well. The park visitors, not so much.

Kathy Dummer, regional manager with the Department of Natural Resources, has put up copious reminders that visitors “can’t get out of their vehicles inside the range, which some have done, and that they certainly can’t get out of their vehicles with their dog, which has happened at least once.”

Here’s a video montage of people not respecting wild bison.

As of July 4 this year 4 people were attacked by bison at Yellowstone. One was a man standing 5 feet away from the animal taking pictures. How much of an illiterate city slicker does one have to be to not get the concept of a wild animal? Maybe some people are just stupid.