2020—Respect this Beast

Custer State Park in South Dakota has been on my mind the past couple of days after seeing reports of two different incidents in which stupid people approached too close to one of these huge beasts in order to take a photograph. The consequences were dire but I don’t think either person died. It was pure luck that they didn’t. Who knows what makes people do such incredibly stupid things for what gain? Visitors to Custer State Park are advised to stay in their vehicles or at least 100 yards away from Bison roaming the roads and grasslands. I took this photograph a couple of years ago at Custer State Park using a long lens and a teleconverter so it just looks like I got close to the beast. Although this bull, weighing at least a ton, is losing his winter coat and appears a bit ragged, the look on his face, especially with the little new born calf directly behind him, is not inviting. Would you approach him? There seem to be more reports of people being gored by bison in our National and State parks recently because they didn’t think the rules applied to them. We are privileged to have wild spaces in our country where we can get glimpses of what wild life was once like. It would be a shame if a few stupid people ruined it for the rest of us.