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Video of tourists encroaching on grazing bison at national park raises concerns online: 'What is wrong with [these] people?'

The footage is more troubling when you consider how much impact humans have already had on wildlife.

The footage is more troubling when you consider how much impact humans have already had on wildlife.

Photo Credit: Instagram

A video showing tourists gathering around a bison and taking photos is getting attention online, with over 1,000 likes on Instagram.

The TouronsOfYellowstone (@touronsofyellowstone) account that shares content of tourists exploiting nature posted a video of the group in Yellowstone Park getting way too close to a bison as it's grazing. 

The National Park Service website has rules for keeping visitors safe, and the first one is to "Never approach wildlife." The park asks guests to stay 100 yards away from bears and wolves and 25 yards from bison and other animals. These rules are in place to keep everyone safe, and the website also says: "The animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be." 

Wildlife can attack people if threatened, and gathering around an animal could be something that would spook it and cause it to lash out. Animals can critically injure humans, and the animal might be put down as a consequence of the attack. 

Approaching animals too closely is also stressful for the park rangers who manage the park. They try their best to maintain a peaceful atmosphere so that these wild animals can live out their lives. 

The footage is more troubling when you consider how much impact humans have already had on wildlife, with the United Nations observing that "three-quarters of the land-based environment and about 66% of the marine environment" have seen drastic changes because of peoples' actions. In addition, native species have fallen at least 20% in land habitats.

Declining species rates can be catastrophic, as Columbia Climate School detailed. Take kelp forests, for instance. They are essential to the ecosystem because they absorb polluting gases and protect coastlines from storms. Purple sea urchins eat the kelp, and their numbers have increased. 

California sea otters eat the urchins, but their numbers have decreased from hundreds of thousands to only 3,000 due to pollution and hunting in the 19th century. So, the purple sea urchins are overeating the kelp, which is also a habitat for other animals and is vital for reducing storm damage and taking polluting gases out of the air. 

Users on Instagram had a lot to say about the tourists encroaching on the bison's territory. 

One said: "What is wrong with people." 

Another commented: "This majestic animal is so well-behaved."

One shared their own experience: "Just came back to our trip, and the amount of tourons was insane. Had to yell at a lady for being 10 ft from a bison trying to get a selfie." 

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