Another day, another infuriating video of tourons (tourist morons) endangering wildlife and themselves in a risky encounter in a national park.
In a video posted to TikTok by Julia (@julia.littlelightning), tourists at Yellowstone National Park are seen approaching a family of bears, just a few dozen feet away from what appears to be a mother and her cubs crossing a busy highway.
“Don’t be these people when you visit Yellowstone,” text in the video reads. “It’s illegal to be within 100 yards. This grizzly has cubs and anything could trigger a protective reaction in a stressful situation like this,” Julia continued in a comment.
Bears are obviously dangerous creatures that can cause serious harm to humans if they feel threatened (which is often the case when humans approach their young). Yet the immediate danger to the people in the video isn’t even the primary issue at hand.
It’s undoubtedly positive to cultivate a healthy respect for nature by enjoying the outdoors in national parks, as positive experiences in the natural world can help people feel a more personal connection to climate justice and lead to further education about our planet. However, engaging with dangerous practices like approaching unfriendly wildlife can have a variety of negative consequences.
Animals like bears need to maintain a healthy fear of humans so that they don’t grow accustomed to these kinds of interactions, which can disrupt natural instincts for finding food and protecting themselves from danger.
Additionally, animals deemed unsafe in areas crowded with humans are sometimes euthanized to protect people in the area. And inappropriate interactions with animals like the ones in the video end up causing anxiety for not just the animals themselves, but also for park employees and your fellow tourists.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the only foolish incident that tourists have captured at national parks. Tourons have also recently been seen snapping selfies with bears, taunting moose, crowding bison.
Commenters expressed their fury at the tourons.
“Stay in your cars [and] give the animals [some] room; people, have some respect,” one user wrote.
“[People] like this are going to ruin it for us all,” another user said.
“I saw a tourist hit a bison with their car today [because] they had their head out the window filming other bison in a field,” a third user commented.
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