Yellowstone Gets a New Sign to Warn Visitors About Bison
Will the new flyer convince tourists to steer clear?
Earlier this month, a 62-year-old Australian man was thrown into the air by a bison at Yellowstone National Park after getting too close in an attempt to take a picture with his iPad, according to FOX4. He was air-lifted to the hospital with serious, but not life-threatening, injuries.
And in May, Yellowstone park officials issued a warning for visitors to leave wildlife alone. The warning followed an incident in which two Canadian tourists put a newborn bison calf in their car because they wanted to keep it warm, reported Reuters. The calf had to be euthanized.
Bison, in other words, are frequently an issue at Yellowstone. (Or more accurately, tourists curious about bison are frequently an issue.)
In March, a government report even took the step of advising Yellowstone visitors not to take “bison selfies.”
The issue is not new in 2016, and for years officials have used a sign depicting a fierce beast throwing a tourist wildly into the air — limbs akimbo, face contorted into horror, ball cap and camera propelled outward. But the drawing, vaguely reminiscent of The Hardy Boys, doesn’t seem to have been deterring several tourists, which perhaps is why Yellowstone has released a new design:
Instead of a detailed person, the new buffalo sign features “Helvetica man,” according to WyoFile.
“The international graphic representation of a human that marks almost every public men’s restroom, now is on the horns of a Yellowstone buffalo,” wrote reporter Angus M. Thuermer Jr.
And he’s not the only local unimpressed by the new art.
“The guy’s face in the original one is more effective,” artist Diane Benefiel told WyoFile. “He looks like he’s getting killed, fearing for his life.”
“The other one is just kind of cold and non-emotional,” said Benefiel.
In 2015, five people — including some attempting to take bison selfies — were gored by bison in the park. Thankfully none of them were killed.
Five is a high number, according to the park, and with the other recent visitor incidents — including the tragic death of a man who fell into a geyser — officials are emphasizing safety.
On the topic of bison, Yellowstone warns visitors that the animals have injured more people than any other animal in the park, that they can sprint three times as fast as a human can run, are “unpredictable and dangerous,” and that the safest way to view animals is from inside a vehicle.