Snowmobile Tour Group Captures Scary Encounter with Bison in Yellowstone Park Video

Snowmobile Tour Group Captures Scary Encounter with Bison in Yellowstone Park Video

A video shared on YouTube depicts a group of snowmobilers in Yellowstone Park having a frighteningly close encounter with a herd of bison that are not amused by their presence.

What was most likely upsetting the furry beasts more than anything else was the noise of the snowmobiles.

Bison are regularly rounded up with helicopters in many places, and the sound has become associated with unpleasant memories for them.

Now, for instance, when motorcyclists in South Dakota pass through the Custer State Park during the annual Sturgis rally, bison will commonly scatter in an erratic manner when they hear the bikes’ engines.

Snowmobiles are generally quieter, but they still make engine noise.

bison in yellowstonePHOTO: PIXABAY/12019
Bison in Yellowstone – PHOTO: PIXABAY/12019

Yellowstone National Park

The YouTube video was initially shared by Lisa Long Giles, a member of the tour group, on Facebook before gaining traction on YouTube. There it was re-shared by the poster Storyful Viral on their YouTube channel. In the clip, a large bison is seen slowly walking through deep snow as it eyes the long line of snowmobiles stopped on the road.

During the 47-second video, many more bison are seen up ahead skittishly turning and running in panic as the snowmobilers rev their engines. There’s a lot to unpack here, but the members of the tour were in quite a bit of danger, as bison are known to behave erratically when spooked. They are known to have poor eyesight and are apt to charge when feeling threatened.

Bison Yellowstone - PIXABAY/KASABUBU
Bison Yellowstone – PIXABAY/KASABUBU

American Bison

Another member of the group (a woman also named Lisa), said that she “got hit” by two bison “fighting,” resulting in her snowmobile getting knocked sideways, according to Storyful Viral’s post. That woman was reportedly okay after the incident. Yellowstone rangers warn visitors entering the park to stay more than 25 yards away from all bison, elk, bighorn sheep, and moose for everyone’s safety.

As a side note, bison are not buffalo. While they are both in the bovidae family, the two are not closely related and are considered distinct creatures. For some reason, Americans choose to refer to them as American buffalo.

Watch the video below.

This article by Rebecca West was first published by The Animal Rescue Site. Lead Image: PIXABAY/KASABUBU.

What you can do

Support ‘Fighting for Wildlife’ by donating as little as $1 – It only takes a minute. Thank you.


Fighting for Wildlife supports approved wildlife conservation organizations, which spend at least 80 percent of the money they raise on actual fieldwork, rather than administration and fundraising. When making a donation you can designate for which type of initiative it should be used – wildlife, oceans, forests or climate.

lm3 1812f 2

Discover hidden wildlife with our FREE newsletters

Select list(s):


Founder and Executive Editor

Share this post with your friends

Leave a Reply

Notify of