A Montana television reporter gave an unexpected lesson in social distancing when a herd of bison walked toward him.
Deion Broxton with CNN affiliate KTVM was reporting at Yellowstone National Park on Wednesday when he noticed the mighty animals approaching. The park is closed until further notice because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Broxton’s camera was rolling, and he posted a video of the encounter on Twitter.
You don’t see the bison in the video, but Broxton’s reaction tells the story.
“Oh my God. Oh my God,” Broxton said.
He paused for a moment and his eyes darted back and forth between the camera and the bison.
“Oh no, I ain’t messing with you,” he said as he walked out of the frame. “Oh no.
Oh no. Oh no I’m not messing with you.”
Broxton grabbed his camera, which is still recording, and stashed it in the trunk of his car.
He shot video of the bison when he was in a safe place — and they were huge.
Twitter did its thing once the video was online and Broxton was transformed overnight into a meme — describing people’s reactions to everything from interrupting coworkers to shoppers coughing in grocery stores.
Yellowstone National Park tweeted that it was a perfect example of how to react when approached by wildlife and thanked Broxton for putting the Yellowstone Pledge to act responsibly and safely into action.
The National Park Service has shared a simple diagram to show how far people should stay away from wildlife and each other.
Bison are the largest land animal in North America and an adult male can weigh more than a ton.
The National Parks Service says they can run up to 40 miles per hour and jump as high as six feet.
Last year, a bison charged a 9-year-old girl, who had gotten too close, and flung her into the air. The child was treated and released at a local hospital.
Bison have injured more people at Yellowstone than any other animal, according to park officials.