• Outdoors Outdoors

‘Brazen’ motorcyclist riding through delicate national park gets dose of karma: ‘Who the hell does he think he is?’

“Ban him!”

"Ban him!"

Photo Credit: Instagram

The sheer audacity of some tourists at United States national parks knows no bounds.

At the Badwater Basin salt flats in Death Valley, California, one “brazen” person thought it would be a great idea to take their motorcycle across the delicate terrain.

Green Wildlife Photography (@green_wildlife_photos) uploaded footage of the incident to Instagram, and the Torouns of National Parks (@touronsofnationalparks) account shared it with its 146,000 followers. 

In the caption, Green Wildlife Photography noted that the video was brought to the attention of the park rangers, who said the motorcycle rider had already been ticketed and fined. After being warned once not to break park rules, doing so again shows a clear disregard for the environment.

But, in an example of karma in action, a comment on the post revealed that the motorcyclist got his vehicle stuck at one point and needed help to get his machine free.

“He literally isn’t hurting anything,” was one misguided observation left on the post, but Green Wildlife Photography was quick to explain that wasn’t the case.

First, tarantulas are often found on the paths, so it’s plausible the motorcyclist ran over at least one of the creatures and potentially damaged their habitat.

Next, the basin is famed for the hexagonal shapes that occur when the flats get dry, and the shapes cannot immediately reform. In other words, the tracks stay visible for decades until the next flooding event. Visitors aren’t even supposed to walk on the soft parts. 

Finally, Green Wildlife Photography observed that many visitors go to national parks to walk in peace in the areas of natural beauty, and the motorcyclist would have disturbed the calm of other respectful park-goers.

Other Instagrammers weren’t so protective of the motorcyclist’s actions.

“You gotta be kidding!!!” one user said. “Ban him!!!”

“Who the hell does he think he is?” added another.

It’s not the first time a national park visitor has broken rules regarding vehicles. For example, at Yellowstone, one tourist was filmed driving their SUV off designated trails and destroying the park’s greenery, which is vital for the survival of local animals. 

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