While making a routine trip to Yellowstone National Park, one reporter inadvertently ended up becoming a meme.
It was announced this week that the national park would close amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, so KTVM NBC Montana reporter Deion Broxton ventured out to Yellowstone in order to cover the news, according to the Baltimore Sun.
However, while filming a video teaser for the upcoming segment, the 27-year-old reporter caught sight of something out of the side of his eye that didn’t sit right with him: a nearby bison was staring straight at him — and then began to approach him with the rest of its herd.
In the hilarious clip of his reaction, which the reporter shared on Twitter, Broxton can be seen abruptly stopping mid-speech to look off to the side at the animals, who remain off-camera. “Oh my God,” he said, while keeping his eyes intensely focused on the animal, before briefly glancing back to the camera. “Oh my God.”
Seconds later, Broxton clearly had enough and quickly runs off to the car with the camera still filming, saying, “I ain’t messing with you, oh no.”
“There was a herd of bison walking right toward me at @YellowstoneNPS today!” the reporter captioned the hilarious clip on Twitter, which has already been viewed over 7.2 million times.
Although it’s not unusual to see bison while reporting at Yellowstone, they don’t typically get so close.
“They always say, ‘Stay at least 25 yards away from mammals,’ ” Broxton told the Baltimore Sun. “But that damn bison broke the 25-yard barrier and I was like, ‘Uhhh, I’m not dealing with this!’ “
Giving a full run-down on what happened, Broxton explained that while he was filming, there was a group of seven bison grazing nearby — and all of a sudden, one started staring him down. Although he had hoped the animal would stop, once it began to approach him he decided it was time to get back to his car as fast as possible.
“I don’t know if he was actually going to come at me, but I knew I didn’t want to stick around to find out,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to be on CNN for being killed by a bison.”
Yellowstone Park also praised him for his quick response, as bison can be dangerous and have been known to injure park visitors.
Taking his viral fame in stride, Broxton said he was happy to give people something to smile about, especially in the current age of uncertainty.
“I’ve posted funny videos before, but never gotten a response like this,” Broxton told the Baltimore Sun. “When you’re out in the field sometimes you just get some gems.”
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