Visiting national parks is a great way to experience the majesty of nature and appreciate the environment. However, if that involves you and your buddy setting up folding chairs in front of a bunch of fully grown elk in mating season, you should reconsider.
The TouronsofYellowstone (@touronsofyellowstone) Instagram account, which shares videos of tourists interacting inadvisably with wild animals in Yellowstone National Park, recently shared one such video, which involved two men getting an uncomfortably close look at a group of elk.
Some of the elk, which are grazing in a field, appear to be rutting — the term for when male elk are looking for mates and attempting to attract them with high-pitched cries called “bugling.”
“As always, watch any wildlife from a great distance. Use a zoom lens on cameras or have binoculars,” YMCA of the Rockies writes. “Especially during the elk rut, bull elk become very aggressive and dangerous to humans observing.”
While appreciating nature can be a great first step to caring about the climate and our environment, climate activism should also include respecting it. The more we interact with nature, the more educated we become, and the more we should want to protect wildlife, not abuse it.
It is worth noting that the actions of these tourists put the elk in danger as well as themselves — when people accidentally provoke animal attacks, those animals sometimes end up being killed as they are deemed dangerous to humans.
Many of the viewers of the Instagram video could not believe what they were seeing.
“Are they TAILGATING?!? Ugh,” wrote another.
“Caption: Dumb and Dumber!” wrote another commenter.
“Had that big bull elk have turned and charged them they’d have been toast,” a third commenter noted.
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