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Bystander captures video of national park tourist posing dangerously close to grazing elk for selfie: 'Unbelievable'

"Start issuing fines on the spot."

"Start issuing fines on the spot."

Photo Credit: Instagram

A video of an overeager tourist is once again making the rounds online. This individual antagonizes an animal and endangers his own life for a selfie at a National Park.

Tourons — a portmanteau of tourists and morons — are tourists who are disrespectful or careless in the areas they are visiting. They cause stress to wildlife, damage the environment, and impair the quality of experience for other people trying to take in the view.

They occasionally garner attention online as they are caught on camera wantonly flaunting the rules laid out to protect visitors and parks. 

In a post from TouronsOfNationalParks (@touronsofnationalparks) on Instagram, we can see a visitor to Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, doing exactly that.

He is captured on video backing up within mere feet of a large elk, adjusting his hips, and holding out his camera with locked arms.

He takes a few moments to get his perfect shot and then stands up and begins to walk away while admiring his camera work.

Tourists who engage in this kind of behavior do a disservice to themselves, fellow parkgoers, and the flora and fauna they have traveled so far to view.

Given that researchers have found that folks who connect with nature are more likely to live more sustainable lives, it is encouraging to see more and more people visiting national parks around the world.

However, there are plenty of examples of this kind of behavior endangering tourists and irritating wildlife.

At Banff National Park, tourists are encouraged to maintain a distance of at least 30 meters (about 33 yards) from elk at all times, as they are known to charge or lash out if their space is infringed upon.

In the United States, the National Parks Service publishes similar guidelines because human interaction can induce stress for wildlife as well as expose them to pathogens.

This is not to mention the stress it causes other tourists, who were forced to take in this man's selfie as opposed to the majesty of a world-famous natural area.

Those who interacted with the post had little sympathy for the man and his photography.

One pointed out that elk are common, and his actions are high risk and low reward: "No one will be impressed that you took a selfie near an elk."

Another described the footage as "unbelievable," while someone else said warnings are not enough: "Start issuing fines on the spot."

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