Real cameras with telephoto lenses could have avoided this

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
jcharding Senior Member • Posts: 2,468

I've seen the video. It appears to have been deleted.  From what I remember your statement is way off base.

What were these people doing? We have no idea. The original clip is 12 seconds long, and doesn't show what they did before the buffalo charged. I don't even recall them having a camera.  So for you to say a 9 year old kid getting tossed into the air like a rag doll because they needed a longer lens is ridiculous.

This is not to say that they were innocent - they might have been making noises at the buffalo to get it to pick its head up. But quite honestly they might just have been walking by on the trail.  And quite honestly I've been in that exact situation at Yellowstone. With buffalo and elk common, sometimes you have no choice but to ignore NPS distance limitations.  Heck, when I was there last year there were multiple elk two feet outside the front door of our cabin at Mammoth.  So you eye them, see if they care about you, and slip by.

With me and the buffalo (on a different trip), i was hiking back from Fairy Falls and Imperial Geyser.  Lots of buffalo, and I and others are on the trail. We aren't stopping. We are just walking.  Two buffaloes do a walk by of each other, sizing each other up. It isn't mating season, but they are practicing anyway. The "loser" of the buffalo walk by rolls in the dirt (trying to prove it is still manly even though it "lost"), and for the first time eyes us.  We beat a hasty retreat and walk even faster.  Fortunately we aren't charged, but it easily could have been a different outcome because we were about as close as this family. Would you have suggested that we wait an hour until the buffalo moved?  Because by then it would have been dark.

So, despite NPS guidance, some human - animal action is unavoidable at Yellowstone.  Sure the humans could wait an hour or so until the animals move and can follow the rules perfectly, but sometimes you just have to evaluate the animal.  Am I making it uncomfortable?

In this instance there is no indication the animal is uncomfortable.  It goes from quietly grazing to charging instantly.  This is bad luck - probably.  We again don't know the full story. But to use their misfortune to torch the family to have needed a longer lens? IMHO way out of bounds.

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