National parks are a great place to get out and see majestic scenery and wildlife. However, not all visitors do so with the respect expected of them — so much so that there is at least one entire Instagram account dedicated to showcasing bad behavior and sharing examples of what not to do when visiting these amazing places.
“I saw these guys at the Grinnell overlook in Glacier harassing this nanny mountain goat and her kid,” read the caption. “The whole interaction went on for quite a while as other people were yelling for them to stop — he proceeded to say oh wait I need to change out the lens.”
Not only is going out on a ledge like that for a photo dangerous for the visitors, but it’s also dangerous and stressful for the goat.
“So selfish. What if the baby slipped because mom was distracted,” one commenter wrote, speaking directly to this point.
The National Park Service states that the best way to stay safe when watching wildlife is to give animals room to move, and most parks require you to stay a minimum of 25 yards from most wildlife and 100 yards from predators like bears and wolves.
Mothers with young with them can be especially dangerous, as these tourists in Yellowstone learned after being charged by a protective mama elk, or these who acted incredibly unsafely in order to have a close encounter with a bear cub. A viewer pointed out another reason to avoid this behavior: “If the bears keep being encouraged to approach cars the rangers will most likely euthanize them. It’s not just dangerous to people to engage in this type of activity, more so to the animal.”
So, while the account may make light of this behavior with the term “tourons,” they share and address a serious problem. These wildlife-human interactions should serve as opportunities to learn and understand nature and wildlife better, not abuse it for the ‘gram. Further, this type of
entitled and reckless behavior is stressful for other onlookers and hinders their connection with the nature around them.
“They’ll be laughing until that goat starts chomping on their sweaty legs and then bucking them off the cliff when they react,” one commenter quipped, with another adding, “They should be fined and banned from the park!”
Another said it best when they simply said, “People, man.”
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