Watch Man Approach Bison in Yellowstone: 'One of the Dumbest Things I've Ever Done'

Footage has emerged of a close encounter between a man and a bison on a stretch of road through Yellowstone National Park.

The video, which was uploaded on YouTube January 4 by Jason Quick, shows several people approaching a bison while walking on a stretch of road through the national park.

Cars are also visible in the road where the bison is moving, surrounded by a bank of trees on the left and large body of water on the right.

The footage shows the man holding the camera running to catch up with the bison before he gets within just several feet. At this point, the bison turns to face him and the man stops, raises his hand and backs away slightly. The bison turns away and moves on, and the man continues to follow it again, albeit more slowly.

Yellowstone National Park guidance urges all visitors to the park to keep their distance from the wildlife.

In the video description Quick seems to reiterate park guidance, writing: "Do. Not. Get this close to a Bison. Ever. This is one of the dumbest things I've ever done, and that's saying a lot."

Newsweek approached Yellowstone National Park Service for information on their advice regarding humans and bison in the park. A spokesperson for the park said: "Give the animals space and never approach wildlife. The animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be.

"The safest (and often best) view of wildlife is from inside a car. Always stay at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all other animals, including bison and elk."

Bison can grow up to 6.5 feet tall and weigh around 2,000lbs.

Millions of the animals once populated vast areas of the Great Plains in North America and were integral to the ways of life of a number of Native American tribes in the region.

They were hunted or simply killed by settlers in larger and larger numbers during the 18th and 19th centuries, driving the species to the edge of extinction.

However, conservation efforts preserved small numbers of bison on the continent, and their numbers stabilised and rebounded somewhat during the 20th and early 21st centuries.

Today, an estimated 30,000 bison live in public and private herds in North America, and are managed for conservation efforts, while several hundred thousand are raised as livestock.

The National Park Service says Yellowstone is home to between 2,300 to 5,500 bison, split between two groups: A "Northern Herd" which breeds in the Lamar Valley and surrounding plateaus, and a "Central Herd" which breeds in Hayden Valley.

Bison grazes in Yellowstone National Park
An American Bison, also known as a buffalo, photographed grazing at Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is home to between 2,300-5,500 of the animals. ERIC BARADAT / Contributor/Getty