YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, WY—The CDC has released new guidelines that have eased up slightly on mask-wearing, saying the fully vaccinated don’t need masks while in small gatherings with other fully vaccinated people outside. This slight loosening of restrictions has now caused Yellowstone National Park to consider ending the requirement that all buffalo wear masks.
The masking requirement for buffalo has been controversial since it was first adopted in March of last year. Many feel it ruins nature pictures to see wildlife in masks. Also, some see it as unnecessary since the buffalo are all outside and are buffalo.
Still, Yellowstone had defended the decision. “The fact is,” said Yellowstone Park Director and Founder Bob Yellowstone, “they are gathering in large groups, which everyone knows is a COVID risk factor. Now, you can cite all your ‘science’ about mitigating risk factors such as their being outside and not being human, but it just looks bad for them not to wear masks in a pandemic. If people see them maskless, they may say, ‘I guess I don’t need one either, as I’m also a mammal.’”
Despite this, Yellowstone is saying they are considering now removing the buffalo mask requirement. As for the other controversial requirement -- having the bears wear ties, which was initially part of a 2010 cross-promotion for the Yogi Bear movie -- they say they’ve just gotten used to that and have no plans to end it.