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Montana Woman Plays Dead When Charged by Bison

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Playing dead saves this Montana woman from her actual death – yet another close call with a bison.

montana woman plays dead
©NBC News – YouTube

In the serene yet wild terrains of Yellowstone National Park, a Montana woman’s leisurely visit turned into a heart-pounding encounter with a charging bison. Quick thinking and an instinctive response became her saving grace.

Playing Dead: A Life-Saving Instinct

As the bison neared, the woman lay motionless, “playing dead.” This instinctive defense mechanism, ingrained in the local’s knowledge, proved effective. The bison, confused and unthreatened, circled her motionless body before retreating, exemplifying that sometimes, stillness amidst chaos can indeed be a savior.

Montana Woman Plays Dead: The Footage

YouTube video

The woman, enjoying the natural beauty of Yellowstone, found herself in a terrifying situation. A bison, a magnificent yet potentially dangerous animal, charged at her. Panic ensued, and a life-or-death sprint began. The woman’s escape was cut short as she tripped, but it was her subsequent actions that saved her life.

The Proximity Problem

Despite clear guidelines, visitors often venture too close to these wild beings. The woman’s close encounter is a stark reminder of the consequences of such proximity. Yellowstone advises a minimum 25-yard distance from bison, a rule often ignored, leading to dangerous, unintended confrontations.

Seen From the Bison’s Perspective

Bison, like all wild animals, respond to perceived threats with aggression. Their peaceful existence is often interrupted by overenthusiastic visitors, leading to unnecessary and avoidable conflicts. The park’s inhabitants deserve respect and space, ensuring safety for both humans and animals.

The Distance You Should Keep

  • Bears and Wolves: Stay at least 100 yards away. Never approach or pursue them to take pictures.
  • Bison: Maintain a distance of at least 25 yards. Bison can be unpredictable and can run three times faster than humans.
  • Elk: Keep at least 25 yards away. Be extra cautious during the spring as cow elk are especially protective of their calves.
  • Wolves: Stay a minimum of 100 yards away. Wolves are not normally a danger unless they become habituated to human presence and food.

Always remember, the animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable. It’s essential to respect their space and observe them from a safe distance to ensure both your safety and theirs.

Lessons from the Montana Woman That Plays Dead

This incident underscores the importance of respecting wildlife and adhering to safety guidelines. The woman’s escape was fortunate, a combination of quick thinking and the bison’s decision to retreat. Every visit to such pristine environments should be marked by caution and respect.

Montana Woman Plays Dead: Conclusion


The Montana woman’s close call with a bison at Yellowstone is more than a tale of survival. It is a reminder of the respect that wildlife deserves and the caution visitors must exercise. Every encounter with the wild is unpredictable, and as we step into their home, we must above all respect their personal space.

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