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How do you stop a buffalo from charging?

Yellowstone Falls
July 6, 2006

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I tried to stay alert for wildlife while driving in Yellowstone -- an elk that leaped out in front of me during our first hour in the park drove home the point that the rangers weren't exaggerating. But I let myself relax a bit once we were out of Yellowstone. Shouldn't have: We were cruising through the southern edge of Grand Tetons -- an Audi with Massachusetts plates was pushing me up to 60 -- when I caught in my peripheral vision a brown mass moving quickly through the woods on our right. I was hitting the brakes by the time the buffalo ran out and up onto the road in front of us and we both stopped at about the same time -- his big, wooly head staring right at Jen in the passenger seat, no more than about five feet from us. The Audi was about the same distance from the rear bumper.