• Outdoors Outdoors

Yellowstone tourists ignore rules, capturing and placing elk calf in their car: 'Stay … at least 25 yards away'

"Yellowstone's scenic wonders are sure to take your breath away: don't let them take your life."

Photo Credit: iStock

Photo Credit: iStock

In a recent viral incident at Yellowstone National Park, a group of tourons ("tourists" + "morons") made a reckless decision after they encountered a newborn elk.

The incident took place on U.S. Highway 191, where visitors decided to put the elk calf in their car and take it to the police department in West Yellowstone, Montana, as reported by Outsider and USA Today.

Despite their intentions, park officials took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of respecting wildlife by not interfering with the animals and maintaining a safe distance from them.

Yellowstone National Park regulations warn visitors to stay 100 yards away from bears and wolves at all times, and at least 25 yards away from all other animals like bison and elk.

Since disturbing wildlife in their natural habitat can endanger the safety of humans and animals alike, violators of these regulations face major consequences, from hefty fines to serving jail time.

These types of wildlife-human interactions are, unfortunately, often guided by cluelessness or a sense of entitlement rather than a deeply held appreciation of nature.

By choosing to show appreciation and thoughtfulness for all parts of the natural world, including its wildlife species, we can all learn more about our planet to protect its ecosystems from abuse. 

Tourons ruin the sanctity of observing nature by putting themselves in the center of the situation without considering the well-being of the animals, with some even having an aggravated elk charge at their car or getting ridiculously close to a grizzly bear.

Although the state of the elk calf remains uncertain as it ran off into the forest after the incident, park authorities have expressed concern over inappropriate behavior like this.

Yellowstone National Park Service officials, in a strong warning on their website, stated, "Yellowstone's scenic wonders are sure to take your breath away: don't let them take your life."

"If you see someone, in person or online, whose behavior might hurt them, others, or the park, tell a ranger. If you're in the park, dial 911. And to those who abide by federal laws and park regulations, thank you," noted the author of the Outsider article.

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