• Outdoors Outdoors

Bystander records tourist risking safety for close-up photo of bison: 'Fine them and ban them from National Parks'

"There is absolutely no reason to be this close."

"There is absolutely no reason to be this close."

Photo Credit: Instagram

In a world where social media is king, we are always on the lookout for the best photo. But, sometimes, people go too far and pose a danger to themselves and the world around them.

On Instagram, the account TouronsOfYellowstone (@touronsofyellowstone) posted a video of a man getting within inches of a bison in Yellowstone National Park for a photo. For those who haven't heard the term before, "touron" is a derogatory term that mashes "tourist" with "moron." The page is devoted to sharing "what not to do" at Yellowstone National Park. 

In the video, the man, kneeling on the ground for a close-up photo, is approached by a young bison before he walks away slowly.

"This touron got lucky," the caption on the video reads. "This bison is still pretty young, If that was an older bull he would have most likely been knocked into timbuktu‼️"

"Please keep at least 25 yards from these bison, there is absolutely no reason to be this close, do you really need a pic up into bison nostrils⁉ The tourons license plate was sent over to the park along with this video."

This man is not the only instance of national park visitors not respecting wildlife for videos, as encounters with bison, elk, and a grizzly bear elicited similar responses on the internet. Bison can weigh up to 2,200 pounds. When these animals are intimidated, a rushing animal can be fatal. Moments of charging animals can be stressful to animals and bystanders alike. Animals that do harm to humans, even when provoked by tourists, can be euthanized as a result.

Wildlife and climate action are intrinsically linked. Over the past 50 years, the world has lost nearly 69% of all wildlife populations, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Living Planet Report 2022. This can have disastrous results for the environment, as wildlife plays an integral role in slowing climate warming, stopping the spread of invasive species, supporting ecosystems, and more.

When visiting national parks and in daily life, it's vital to treat animals with respect. National parks like Yellowstone provide a unique opportunity to view wildlife in their natural habitat, providing education into the importance of wildlife conservation and respect for nature.

"They will ruin it for all of us who want to see the wildlife," commented one user.

"Fine them and ban them from National Parks," commented another user. While it is rare, it is possible to be banned from national parks.

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