At Yellowstone National Park, you should be wary of the behavior of herds. They can be unpredictable and are capable of inflicting serious damage.
But, in this case, we’re not talking about elk or bison.
Stunned onlookers filmed a group of tourists showing incomprehensible levels of disrespect while roaming the landscape, taunting bison, and breaking the park’s rules.
Yellowstone calls on visitors to stand at least 25 yards away from bison at all times, and the tourists must have been half that distance from a huge group of North America’s largest land mammal.
Footage of the incident was uploaded to the TouronsOfYellowstone (@touronsofyellowstone) Instagram account, which described the tourists as a “gaggle” in the caption and observed that one member of the party had also thrown a rock into the geyser at the Lower Geyser Basin.
Of course, the comments section erupted.
“Kick them out for life!!!” one Instagrammer said, with another adding the group of visitors had “No respect for anything.”
“A touron is a fascinating creature,” one commenter quipped. “While biologically it has the ability to learn and adapt to situations that may be life threatening, it does not despite numerous experiences and warning signs from others in [its] species.”
Not only could the bison have launched a stampede at any point and put every member of the group in danger, but the tourists’ actions could have had devastating consequences for the animals.
If put under unnecessary stress by humans, animals might be provoked into attacking. If they do and the human suffers an injury or worse, there is a high chance the animal will be euthanized, as they will be considered a threat to human life.
Tourists who try to feed wildlife or come close to them risk lowering an animal’s inhibitions, making them more comfortable around humans and dulling their survival instincts. This can make them more vulnerable to predators and have far-reaching impacts on the local ecosystem.
This group would have also ruined the experience of true nature lovers at the park, who understand that respect for wildlife is essential to protect the natural world.
The video makes you wonder just which group should be considered “wild” animals.
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