Parents of a young tourist at Yellowstone National Park are being called out as “tourons” (tourist + moron) after alarming footage of a child navigating treacherous waters recently surfaced.
The video was shared by the account Tourons of Yellowstone (@touronsofyellowstone), which is dedicated to posting about the outrageous behavior of tourists in America’s national parks. The account quoted Abbey in the caption: “I honestly thought that kid might be swept away and drowned! Also, he was barefoot!”
Clueless tourons are nothing new, and Tourons of Yellowstone has more than 1,000 posts. In June, it shared a video of an elk mom chasing two tourists. The caption explained that she was protecting her babies from people coming in close for photos.
This phenomenon isn’t confined to the United States, either. In another display of selfie-obsessed behavior, tourists on the Gower Peninsula in Wales caused the death of a wild pony foal by crowding it near a cliff’s edge to snap photos. The newborn staggered to its feet before falling over the edge.
Not following the rules at national parks — and in wild places in general — can have terrible consequences for people, wildlife, and the natural environment.
From 2007 to 2018, 2,727 people died in America’s national parks, with a whopping 668 of those deaths because of drowning. Historically, more than 100 people have died in Yellowstone’s lakes and rivers alone.
Obsession with animal selfies is also harming wildlife, but sometimes “do-gooder” tourists also put animals in harm’s way. In 2016, a bison calf passed away after tourists at Yellowstone “rescued” it from the cold. Earlier this year, a man removed another bison calf from a river in the park. Staff were forced to euthanize the young bison after its herd rejected it.
People were livid after watching the video of the child playing in treacherous waters. A few people identified the area as Gibbon Falls, an 84-foot waterfall.
“It is illegal if the rangers have to risk their lives to save someone for their stupidity, turbulent water, and the drop in the waterfall,” one said.
Most of the comments were aimed at the carelessness of the parents.
“The parent needs to be arrested,” one person commented, with another asking, “Who would EVER let their kids do that?”
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