It doesn’t matter how many followers you have on social media; it doesn’t mean you can break the rules at Yellowstone National Park for the sake of a selfie.
True to form, the comment section was ruthless.
“What is wrong with these people!!!” asked one user.
“This nitwit is risking his safety to take an illegal selfie with an unpredictable animal that is the size of a Chevy Tahoe with horns,” yet another commented.
In 2017, the park began asking visitors to take the Yellowstone Pledge amid increasing incidents of people getting injured by animals or destroying the natural landscape while taking a quick snap.
Among the pledge’s requests are that tourists practice “safe selfies.”
But the message doesn’t seem to be getting through to everyone. This tourist was lucky the bison, which can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and run 35 miles per hour, was patient enough to leave them be.
Leaving the park’s trails can also have other consequences. In 2016, the Huffington Post reported a man fell into an acidic hot spring and died after leaving the designated path to check the water’s temperature.
Signs around the park detail how it is “unlawful” and “unsafe” to leave walkways in thermal areas. Two women from Pennsylvania landed themselves with two days in jail and fines totaling over $450 for leaving the trail in 2020, per Montana’s KYSS-FM.
With all of the legal, health, and safety implications of breaking the park’s rules, it’s best to enjoy our national treasures from a safe distance. The Yellowstone Pledge sums it up the best: “No picture is worth hurting yourself, others, or the park.”
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