Publisher's note: This post appears here courtesy of the LifeZette, and written by Popzette Staff.
A heart-stopping video is going viral this week showing the moment a woman was forced to "play dead" in order to avoid what could have been a deadly bison attack in Yellowstone National Park.
The New York Post
reported that the chilling footage was captured at the park by bystanders on Friday. Two people can be seen in a field when some bison suddenly start to run towards them, causing both to attempt to run away. Suddenly, one of them trips and falls, and her fellow tourists quickly tell her to "play dead" as the bison walks up to her.
As the woman complies and lays motionless on the ground, the bison stands over her for a few seconds, seeming to inspect her. Finally, after what must have seemed like an eternity to the woman, the bison loses interest and gallops away.
The video was recorded by Cloie Musumecci, who said it occurred at Nez Perce Creek in the Wyoming portion of the enormous 3,500-square-mile park. She said that she talked to the woman after the ordeal was over about what had just happened.
"She was like wow, this is crazy,"
Musumecci told ABC7
. "She's actually from New York but she lives in Montana, so she knew that I needed to play dead and not get up and keep running because he was already close to me."
Yellowstone officials have responded to the video by stressing the importance of park visitors staying at least 25 yards away from wildlife.
"Bisons can be very unpredictable, that's the risk with them,"
said Rachel Bale of National Geographic. "They may look calm sitting right off the path but they can change in an instant."
The Department of Interior states that bison are the largest mammals in North America, as they can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. They also injure more people at Yellowstone than any other animals do each year, which makes it all the more important for humans to keep their distance.
This comes one month after a 72 year-old woman was rushed to the hospital after being gored by a bison in an Idaho section of Yellowstone National Park. East Idaho News
reported that she had approached within ten feet of the bison multiple times to try and take the animal's photo.
"The series of events that led to the goring suggest the bison was threatened by being repeatedly approached to within 10 feet,"
Yellowstone's Senior Bison Biologist Chris Geremia said at the time. "Bison are wild animals that respond to threats by displaying aggressive behaviors like pawing the ground, snorting, bobbing their head, bellowing, and raising their tail."
"If that doesn't make the threat (in this instance it was a person) move away, a threatened bison may charge,"
Geremia added. "To be safe around bison, stay at least 25 yards away, move away if they approach, and run away or find cover if they charge."