State officials issue bison warning ahead of holiday weekend

Local News

ANTELOPE ISLAND (ABC4 News) – With this weekend being the unofficial start of summer, state parks are expecting big crowds.

“Many of our state parks will experience at capacity levels, which hasn’t necessarily taken place on Memorial Day weekend before,” said Eugene Swalberg, the Public Information Officer for the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation.

RELATED: Bigger crowds than normal expected in Southern Utah amid COVID-19 pandemic

On Friday, vehicles lined up one by one to enter Antelope Island.

“We’ve been experiencing higher than average visitation leading up to it,” said Swalberg. “So, all hands are on deck, and we’re ready to go.”

With such big crowds, the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation says people need to recreate responsibly especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Some places might be restricting access and they’ve had to do that leading up to this,” said Swalberg. “That maybe something that’s new.”

The biggest attraction at Antelope Island is its most popular residents that roam the land.
Park officials are warning people about getting too close to the bison after a woman was recently attacked at Yellow Stone National Park.

Within the past year, there have been two incidents when park goers had a run-in with the animals.

“Wildlife is called wildlife because it’s wild,” said Swalberg. “It’s not domesticated. So, keep that distance. It’s not like it’s a magical 50 feet. Bison are big, fast and not necessarily friendly. So, they are to be enjoyed at a distance. Stay in your vehicle, and take great pictures. They will pose for you! You don’t need to approach them any closer.”

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