The Science Against Selfies

Or at least the natural history thereof. From the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (boldface mine):

Since 1980, bison have injured more pedestrian visitors to Yellowstone National Park (Yellowstone) than any other animal (1). After the occurrence of 33 bison-related injuries during 1983–1985 (range = 10–13/year), the park implemented successful outreach campaigns (1) to reduce the average number of injuries to 0.8/year (range = 0–2/year) during 2010–2014 (unpublished data, National Park Service, September 2015). During May–July 2015, five injuries associated with bison encounters occurred (Table). Case reports were reviewed to evaluate circumstances surrounding these injuries to inform prevention….

All encounters resulted from failure to maintain the required distance of 75 ft (23 m) from bison. Four injuries occurred when three or more persons approached the bison. Two persons were injured while walking on hiking trails. Three persons sustained injuries while taking photographs at a distance of approximately 3–6 ft (1–2 m) from bison, including two who turned their back on the bison to take the photograph; one person reported taking a cell phone self-portrait (selfie), which necessitated getting close to the animal.

Darwin Award honorary mentions.

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3 Responses to The Science Against Selfies

  1. Björn says:

    All encounters resulted from failure to maintain the required distance of 75 ft (23 m) from bison.

    I imagine anything else would be close to impossible, unless the bison have developed ranged weapons.

    • Robert Aho says:

      In the defense of those unknown, the northwest entrance of Yellowstone NP, by Gardiner MT, is a real wonder for the unprepared. Not many front lawns have bison and elk. I will concede there is a population of tour-ons (tourist+moron) but some are just plain naive, who just failed to realize how quick those animals move; and quick as in 0-50 kph over the span of 5 meters. And once started…

  2. MichaelG says:

    I’ve seen YouTube videos of this phenomenon. How people can be so cavalier around very large, horned wild animals is beyond me.

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