• Outdoors Outdoors

Video shows family swiftly vacate picnic table to avoid protective mother elk: 'Thank you for using common sense'

"The Ranger came over and agreed with our move."

“The Ranger came over and agreed with our move."

Photo Credit: @laneslesstraveled / TikTok

Yellowstone National Park is visited by over three million people a year. The world's first national park is a breathtaking 3,472 square miles of nature, geothermal features, and wildlife. 

Arguably one of the most beautiful places on Earth, Yellowstone is home to over 67 species of mammals. Travelers from near and far visit in hopes of catching a glimpse of the wildlife roaming the park.  

The Lane Family (@laneslesstraveled) posted a video of their recent close encounter on TikTok.

@laneslesstraveled What's your closest encounter with an animal in the wild? #rvtok #yellowstonenationalpark #yellowstone #nationalparkgeek #closeencounter #rvfamily #rvlifestyle #adventurefamily #visitwyoming ♬ Oo De Lally (From "Robin Hood") - Geek Music

As a family of elk close in on their picnic table, the group relocates to keep their distance.

"The Ranger came over and agreed with our move," the TikToker explained, while noting they watched from afar, next to the Ranger. 

While they might seem harmless, elk can weigh up to 700 pounds and run up to 40 miles per hour. They're also able to jump about eight feet high. Males are particularly aggressive during the rut, their mating season.

Yellowstone Park recommends staying 100 yards away from bears and wolves. All other wildlife should be kept at 25 yards or more. In any case, it's always wise to be more cautious than not.

Park Wildlife Biologist Bill Stiver told the National Park Service, "To help ensure your safety, make sure you have parked in a safe location and remain close to your vehicle so that you can get inside if an elk approaches."

Whether it's genuine curiosity, adoration, or "for the gram," what many people forget in their excitement is that these are wild animals. It should go without saying, but never approach wildlife under any circumstance. 

Educate yourselves and join the fight to protect the natural world. Don't be a touron (tourist + moron). Being reckless and entitled is a danger to yourself and the animals. It's also disheartening to those who do care about protecting the ecosystem.

There is a certain level of respect required to understand and value when visiting these magical places. Take note of the signs and regulations to keep you, your loved ones, and the wildlife safe. Failure to do so could result in fines, injury, or death. 

Do as the Lane family did. Protect yourselves and our wildlife, as respecting nature is natural extension of broader efforts to take good care of our planet.

One TikTok user commented, "So amazing you get to experience this with your family."

"Thank you for using common sense and protecting our resources," another applauded.

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