By Katie Evans
THE TERRIFYING moment a one tonne Great bison bull forced a hapless physician to flee and abandon his photographic gear has been captured.
Another image shows the spirited animal rolling around vigorously in the dust and dirt of Yellowstone National Park scratching an itch that just couldn’t be reached.
The animal can then be seen standing in the dust clouds of his own wallowing, looking menacingly at photographer Willis Chung (56) a physician from Denver, USA, as the bull readied himself to charge.
“The bull rocked to its feet, snorted, and trotted over directly towards me,” said Willis.
“I knew my best choice was to head 90 degrees away from the bull’s path, constantly changing my direction to keep moving perpendicular to the bull’s path. I went to my left, yelling “Yea ha!” at the top of my voice and opening my arms wide to look bigger.
“The bull steered off to the right and I continued to the left as we made a circle around the camera and tripod I had decided to leave behind.”
Yellowstone, a 3,472 square mile park is home to around 5,000 bison, as well as housing bears, wolves and moose.
Although they may appear relatively docile, bison’s can become very aggressive when disturbed and have the ability to run at over 30mph.
Willis has been taking photos for the past 44 years and often frequents Yellowstone, but has never had an experience like this before.
“It was never my intention to become an object of curiosity to the bull!
“Taking 10-15 minutes to sit quietly invites the animals to come out and once they see me as part of the landscape, they often behave in surprising and lively ways.
“Making sure I wasn’t going to be perforated was my chief priority for a little bit. Once I got to a decent distance I was a bit shaky.
“Some ask me what I did afterwards, which was take a long tea and lunch break and send thanks to whoever was watching over me from above!”
When asked what words of advice he would give to others in this situation, he said:
“Plan ahead! Have an escape plan and be willing to leave your gear behind!”
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