• Outdoors Outdoors

Harrowing video captures wildlife charging at national park tourists: 'Wild animals are not your friend just because you want them to be'

"Let wildlife be wild and observe from a distance."

"Let wildlife be wild and observe from a distance."

Photo Credit: Instagram

Visiting national parks is a great way to immerse yourself in nature and experience wildlife in its natural habitat. But when tourists disregard distance warnings for animals, a peaceful trip can quickly take a turn for the worse.

Instagrammer touronsofnationalparks (@touronsofnationalparks) shared a video captioned: "Tourons in New Mexico right outside of Las Cruces getting attacked by an Oryx."

The Instagram reel shows people walking down a path while an oryx is grazing at the edge of it. When someone gets too close for a photo and then retreats quickly, the oryx appears startled and charges at another tourist.

One user commented: "Wild animals are not your friend just because you want them to be."

An oryx is a large, muscular antelope weighing up to 530 pounds. With their long, spear-like antlers, they can be dangerous. 

In this instance, the tourists appear to be OK, but they could've easily not been so lucky. When humans disrespect wildlife by getting too close, they can be injured or cause someone else to be injured.

The National Parks Service cautions that wildlife in parks are not trained animals and can be unpredictable and dangerous when disturbed. Most parks require a minimum distance to keep from animals, often 25 yards for most wildlife and 100 yards for bears, wolves, and other predators. 

Climate awareness begins with respect for nature, including wildlife. Witnessing animals in the wild should help us understand our natural world and increase our desire to protect it, not abuse it

The scene in the video takes place in the San Andres National Wildlife Refuge, a habitat that's been instrumental in delisting animals from New Mexico's threatened and endangered species list. Tourists who exploit beautiful and important places like this prevent others from having a safe, enjoyable experience.

Incidents like the one in the video are stressful for wildlife and bystanders. These careless actions also make jobs harder for park rangers who are responsible for protecting the ecosystem. Sadly, a disregard for safety can also endanger wildlife — animals that injure humans, provoked or unprovoked, may be euthanized.

It's best to follow the NPS's advice: "Let wildlife be wild and observe from a distance."

"Serves them right," one Instagrammer commented.

Another user mocked: "Ah yes, let's get close to an animal actually known to IMPALE full grown LIONS."

Join our free newsletter for cool news and cool tips that make it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider