Eye Contact - Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Over on my Facebook page, I have been participating in a seven-day Wildlife Challenge with a number of other photographers. Today is my seventh and last post for that challenge, and I thought that I would post it here on the blog. Head on over to Facebook to see the rest of my wildlife postings, as well as the other photographers' photos.

There have been numerous news stories over the past few years about bad encounters with wildlife. Usually, all of those encounters end up with a human being getting seriously hurt or killed by an animal. Given my experience with some of the visitors I have seen in our National Parks, it is usually the humans that have brought it on themselves. We have seen stories of people getting gored while they were taking selfies of themselves with a bison in the background. I don't understand what they are thinking when they do something stupid like that. Bison are territorial and may decide to protect themselves when someone violates their territory. My rule of thumb is this: when a bison makes eye contact with you as this one did with me, make sure you have an escape plan close at hand. In this instance, I was right next to my car door and I slowly got into the car until he walked away. Just because these bison may weigh up to 2,000 pounds, it doesn't mean that they are slower than you.