"The individual...showed an incredible lack of judgment and common sense," Yellowstone Park officials said

By Claudia Harmata
August 08, 2019 02:16 PM

Yellowstone National Park is once again warning visitors of the dangers of disturbing wildlife at the park.

On Wednesday, park officials responded to a video of a man petting a lone bison in front of a crowded Yellowstone boardwalk that went viral. The video was originally posted on July 8.

In the clip, onlookers watch as the unidentified man reaches over a fence to stroke the bison before it turns to run the other way. The individual behind the camera can be heard repeatedly whispering “No” and “Don’t do it” as the man approaches the bison.

Yellowstone authorities say the visitor put the entire group in danger and that he was lucky the bison did not charge at the group.

RELATED: Bison in Yellowstone National Park Charges Group, Flips and Injures 9-Year-Old Girl

“The individual who recently was captured on video touching a wild bison along a park boardwalk showed an incredible lack of judgment and common sense,” Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly said in a statement to PEOPLE.

“Not only did he put himself and others at risk,” the official added, “he violated regulations designed to keep these animals wild. We expect better from our visitors.”

The park confirmed with PEOPLE that it is now investigating the incident.

The alarming video started to spread just a few weeks after a bison at Yellowstone National Park charged at a group of 50 visitors, flipping and injuring a 9-year-old girl in the process.

RELATED VIDEO: Bison Injures Visitor at Yellowstone National Park

On July 22, a 9-year-old girl from Odessa, Florida, was “tossed into the air” by the bull bison after “a group of approximately 50 people were within 5-10 feet of the bison for at least 20 minutes before eventually causing the bison to charge the group,” according to a National Park Service (NPS) press release,

The child was treated by Yellowstone’s emergency medical team and was later taken to the Old Faithful Clinic for treatment. She was released shortly after.

In a statement to PEOPLE, Yellowstone wants to remind visitors “that wildlife in the park are wild.”

“When an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space,” park officials said. “Stay 25 yards (23 m) away from all large animals – bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes and at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves.”

“If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity,” they added.

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