• Outdoors Outdoors

'Clueless' tourists shown crowding around grizzly bear mom, cubs in video from Yellowstone visitor: 'They were getting even closer as I left'

"Let the humans learn the hard way."

Group of tourists swarming around a mother bear and her cubs at Yellowstone's prismatic geyser

Photo Credit: @touronsofyellowstone / Instagram

The National Parks Service has very strict rules about visitors interacting with animals within the boundaries of their jurisdiction to keep both wildlife and guests safe. These policies, which can include fines and removal from the park, have not stopped tourons — a mashup of "tourist" and "moron" — from probing the bear, both metaphorically and literally. 

A recent video shared on an Instagram page shows a swarm of tourists huddled around a mother grizzly bear and her two cubs at the Prismatic Geyser, which is a few miles from the famous Old Faithful Geyser. 

In the caption, the original poster notes that she "tried [her] best to get [the tourists] away but man these people were clueless. We eventually had to bail but they were getting even closer as I left."

The account where the video was shared, Tourons of Yellowstone (@touronsofyellowstone), features over a thousand clips of park visitors violating distancing guidelines and experiencing close calls with wildlife, including bears, bison, elk, and deer. 

Currently, the National Parks Service requires that guests stay at least 100 yards away from large predatory animals like bears and wolves. The service warns that visitors who come too close to these animals, let alone those with cubs and pups, may become seriously injured. 

"Remember, it's your responsibility to maintain that distance. If wildlife approaches you, then you need to move back," the website advises

Commenters on the original thread were shocked by the audacity of the tourists. "I'm on the animals side, let the humans learn the hard way. Darwin Awards for everyone," one user wrote.

Other commenters lobbied for creating action to protect these animals from the pestering tourists. 

"It's time for more funding to help have more rangers in place. I also support limiting visitation. Yellowstone will forever be damaged if we continue to allow ignorant groups enter and ignore common sense precautions," another user recommended.

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