Nature called, and a tourist didn’t listen: A viral video shows a woman at Rocky Mountain National Park failing to give elk the space they need.
In the video on the Tourons of Yellowstone page (@touronsofyellowstone), the woman continually approaches a group of elk just off of a road, seeming to prioritize close-up smartphone footage of the animals over the creatures’ well-being.
Onlookers repeatedly try to warn the tourist that she’s getting too close to the elk, shouting “You might wanna back up” and “There’s babies over there” as she fails to heed their warnings. “This is some wild s***,” one onlooker says.
Eventually, as at least four massive elk get dangerously close to the tourist, she turns around and starts heading away from the animals.
Getting too close to wildlife is dangerous for both humans and animals; if they lose their natural fear of humans, the balance of an ecosystem can be thrown off. For example, by beginning to depend on trash for food and then incurring health problems or no longer possessing proper survival skills when that trash is no longer available. And animals who do choose to defend themselves are often euthanized.
The comment section of the Instagram post sounded off against the tourist’s foolish behavior.
“People like this should be banned from national parks. Zero respect and a huge liability,” one user wrote.
“What’s more aggravating is there’s no way she didn’t hear them yelling – barring her being deaf, of course. It just makes me think she was intentionally being obtuse,” another user said.
“They need to learn nature doesn’t care about their self entitlement,” a third user commented.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article and the Instagram post both referred to these elk as moose. We regret the error. We do not, however, regret learning in the process of resolving the error that a group of elk may be referred to as a “gang” of elk.
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