2016 SEEMS TO BE THE YEAR OF PEOPLE behaving stupidly around the animals in Yellowstone National Park. People keep getting gored while attempting to take selfies with buffaloes. A baby buffalo had to be euthanized when well-meaning but ignorant tourists tried to save it from the mild chill. And now, this.
Jody Tibbitts, a tour guide based out of Jackson Hole, posted the above video to his Facebook feed this week. While on a tour, one of his guests took a video of a wild elk. Tibbitts can then be heard warning a guest from a nearby car to move. “Ma’am! Ma’am!” he says, “Can you please — yeah.”
The “yeah” was because the elk charged her. What happens next is off-screen, but Tibbitts says the woman tripped and the elk pulled back at the last second, saving her from being trampled.
Tibbitts then said, “I was just going to tell you you’re too close to that elk. And that’s why.”
Talking to East Idaho News, Tibbitts said, “Literally on a daily basis I’m having to tell people they’re way too close to animals. I’ve even seen folks chase bears into the woods for a picture.”
So, we thought this didn’t need to be said, but: stay away from wild animals. They did not sign up for a close-up in your photo, and could reasonably interpret your approach as hostile. Yellowstone requires that visitors stay 25 yards (75 feet) from animals. If you need to get a close-up, maybe invest in a telephoto lens.
Featured photo by Yellowstone National Park