Tourists can get into some questionable situations — often because of their own doing. One video shared on the Tourons of National Parks (@touronsofnationalparks) Instagram page is showing the lengths tourons — a combination of “tourist” and “moron” — will go to get into precarious spaces with wildlife.
The video was shot in Estes Park, Colorado, and shows one tourist getting dangerously close to an elk on a crowded street. The elk approaches the tourist on the sidewalk before bowing its massive antlers down at the individual, then walking away down another sidewalk.
This tourist isn’t the only one who has had a close run-in with a massive elk. Another individual got dangerously close to one in Estes Park, and it did the same bowing motion with its head.
This behavior may have been indicative of the animal’s next move: to charge toward the tourist. A failure to move out of the way of the massive animal may lead to a dangerous altercation, such as when a tourist was mauled by a bison in Yellowstone National Park.
Elk are very agile creatures who can be aggressive without warning — especially during the fall rut season, while female elk are most active and territorial during the spring calving season. Therefore, you should avoid getting close to an elk altogether.
Ideally, people should stay at least three bus lengths from the animals at any time and never get between a cow (female elk) and her calf.
Elk who are considering attacking will typically grind their teeth or become visually agitated before moving forward with their sharp antlers. This can cost tourists, like the one in the video, a limb or even their life.
Other users were appalled by the touron’s lack of awareness and respect for the elk. “We are so fortunate that animals are smarter than we are,” one user shared.
“Seriously what is wrong with these people,” another user wrote.
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