Sadly, some people will do anything for a close-up photo of wild animals, even if it puts their child’s safety at risk.
The Tourons of National Parks (@touronsofnationalparks) Instagram account recently shared a clip via Gerrad Waninger (@gjwaninger) of a father encouraging his son to pose with a mountain goat for a photo, much to the dismay of bystanders.
As the child gets dangerously close to the mountain goat, a man — presumably Gerrad — can be heard saying, “Get your kid outta there; what are you doing?!”
The harrowing encounter took place at Mount Blue Sky (formerly Mount Evans). It’s a breathtaking area in the Rocky Mountains, full of alpine lakes, ancient bristlecone pine trees, a variety of hardy wildflowers, mammals like bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and marmots, and towering mountains as far as the eye can see.
Unfortunately, the beauty and wonder of nature can be spoiled by a bad experience with wildlife, which happens more often than you’d think. For instance, one man almost got trampled by a moose when he tried to get a close-up photo of the animal, and another got out of their car to snap a photo of a black bear that was about 10 feet away.
While it’s tempting to get a better view of animals you probably never see at home, it can have disastrous consequences. Getting too close to wild animals can cause them to chase or attack you, which can lead to serious injuries or death, in some cases.
This reckless behavior affects the animals as well because they often get euthanized if they injure park visitors. Plus, it’s stressful for bystanders and park rangers since they don’t know how the animal will react.
Exploring national parks provides a great opportunity to connect with nature and, hopefully, inspire us to protect our home. However, treating the parks and wildlife with respect makes the experience better for everyone, including the animals.
Commenters were stunned by the father’s careless behavior and had zero issues calling him out.
“Thank you to who ever spoke up!!” one person said.
“My partner grew up with large horned goats and his stories are not cuddly and cute but more like ‘how are you not dead.’ So I definitely would not get that close to a mountain goat,” another added.
“Parenting at its finest. Some folks should never procreate,” someone else joked.
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