As summer approaches and people start to head out for their family vacations, I wanted to send out a small PSA. As I live very close to Yellowstone National Park and every year I hear or see people’s interaction with the local wildlife, I wanted to make sure people understand one very simple rule.
NATURE DOES NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS AND CAN BE BRUTAL!
While it is great to go and see the wildlife in their true settings and without fences to keep the animals in, and you safely on the other side, be aware that they are not your family pet. I know that seems a rather easy thing to understand, but every year in Yellowstone there are a dozen or more reports of bison, elk, deer, and all assortments of other human and animal interactions that the human loses.
Per the website of the park the recommended safe distance between you and the wildlife is as follows: 25 yards from bison and elk and 100 yards from bears and wolves.
Then there is the thermal areas where you must stay on the boardwalks. This isn’t just to protect the vegetation on the side, but to keep you safe from a possible scolding from the extremely hot water below the surface. In those areas the ground can literally fall out of under your foot and into an unseen hot spring. If you for some reason make it to the waters edge and fall into it, you will be boiled alive and your body may disolve before help could arrive. Here is a story about that happening just last year. Foot Found in Yellowstone Hot Pool, but Case Is Still Murky
While I know I am speaking of Yellowstone NP, but this also goes for all the National Parks in the US. These parks are small pieces of uncontained nature with all the dangers. In each of them you should never let your small children or pets run ahead of you or on their own. You need to also realize that this animals are WILD and roam where they want to. And yes, people have asked park rangers and locals questions like, “When do they release the animals in the morning?” and “Why do they let the animals out so close to the camping areas?”
While it is a sad fact I have to say this too… Leave the baby animals alone also. True they may not be a threat and probably won’t hurt you, but you are 100% hurting them. Not to mention if the mother is near by, it will hurt you. I have to say this because a few years ago some people found a bison calf by itself and they figured it was lost or abandoned. They chose to place it into their minivan and take it to the nearest park ranger. This in fact was the calf’s death sentence. Here is the news story about the incidence, Baby Bison That Was Placed In A Van By Tourists In Yellowstone Is Euthanized
Below are some videos and links about animal attacks for you to read and watch.