AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File

A recent viral video illustrates just what happens when you get too close to nature.

As you may have seen, a 9-year-old girl got caught in the path of a charging bison in Yellowstone National Park. If you haven’t, here’s the video:

The girl is tossed in the air like a rag doll.

From Outdoorhub:

The 9-year-old girl, who was visiting the park from Odessa, Florida, was part of a group of around 50 people walking along a trail in the Old Faithful Geyser area when she was charged and flung in the air by a large bull bison.

Video of the incident surfaced Monday night, triggering an uproar of angry viewers criticizing the adults who ran away while the little girl is violently launched into the air

Following the frightening incident, the girl was taken to the Old Faithful Lodge by her parents and treated by the park’s medical staff. She was then transferred to the Old Faithful Medical Clinic, where she was evaluated further and eventually released.

So it looks like the girl wasn’t seriously injured.

Of course, there are a lot of questions still unanswered. For example, just where were her parents during this and why is it that every single adult we see in the image running away and leaving a nine-year-old girl to fend for herself against what a friend of mine described as a ton of “belligerent hamburger?”

Honestly, we don’t have any answers for you. It’s entirely possible that the parents aren’t shown in the frame but are running toward their daughter. It’s also possible that they’re hauling tail and leaving their daughter to face a bison alone. We just can’t tell.

As for the other adults, that’s also something we can only speculate on. My charitable guess is that everyone simply assumed someone else would get the child. My more cynical side is saying the beat feet to save their own hides and didn’t care one way or another about the child.

In truth, there was probably a bit of both taking place.

However, there’s an important lesson here. Wild animals are just that, wild. While some places may have bison you can pet, they’re basically tame animals. While they look like the wild bison in Yellowstone, they’re quite different.

Yellowstone released a statement advising people to maintain distance from all large wildlife. That’s good advice, and not just in Yellowstone. That’s good advice anywhere that wild animals can be found. Even animals not typically thought of as dangerous, such as deer, can kill a person if they get too close. Keep in mind that mother nature gave large animals the means to defend themselves from predators, after all.

The important takeaway here is that the little girl escaped any serious injury. Yes, that’s no thanks to the adults who ran away regardless of reason, but she’s still going to be fine.

Another important takeaway is to remember that humans may be at the top of the food chain, but we’re not the undisputed rulers of it by any stretch of the imagination.