A video of a tourist driving an SUV off designated roads at Yellowstone National Park has brought condemnation from social media users.
The driver perhaps wanted a closer look at the mountains in the distance, but that’s little excuse. Indeed, the park website says traveling off-road by vehicle or bicycle is prohibited.
In the winter especially, prominent grasses and shrubs are essential for the survival of grazing animals, so driving over plants that are poking through the snow and killing them will not help creatures who may already be struggling to find food.
“Ban him forever!” one Instagrammer said.
“So much entitlement,” another added. “It would never even cross my mind to do that.”
What makes it worse is that this particular visitor seemed intent on breaking as many park rules as possible.
In an earlier video posted on the Tourons of Yellowstone account, the same tourist exited their vehicle to approach three moose, who immediately got to their feet with the arrival of the unexpected visitor.
“When the moose stood up the touron backed up a bit but stayed to get more pictures,” the caption read.
“It’s the idiots and selfish people who ruin it for the rest of us!” one of the comments read.
“A moose can run faster in the snow than most people can run in optimal conditions,” another Instagrammer said.
Approaching the moose and intimidating them could have resulted in the deer charging at the tourist in defense. Such an action could have seriously harmed the entitled visitor, and the moose may have even been euthanized if they were considered a threat to humans.
Such careless behavior is distressing not only to wildlife and conscientious bystanders but also to park rangers tasked with safeguarding these precious lands. It is up to people to educate themselves and advocate for responsible tourism, ensuring that our exploration of nature’s wonders is characterized by admiration and preservation, not exploitation and harm.
Breaking one rule is bad enough, but breaking two is infuriating. If there were prizes for the most disrespectful park visitor, this person would certainly take the gold.
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