“The least-studied species of animal in Yellowstone National Park is the human and the visitor experience and that’s what we’re trying to change.” -Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk
Yellowstone National Park has gone on the offensive to combat the most dangerous species to roam within its beautiful borders….TOURISTS!
The park has hired a full-time social scientist this season to study visitors and determine how the park can most effectively deliver safety messages and how to protect the park’s resources against visitors according to kansascity.com.
In a press release park officials conveyed their concern over the recent rash of bad behavior:
“In recent weeks, visitors in the park have been engaging in inappropriate, dangerous, and illegal behavior with wildlife. In a recent viral video, a visitor approached within an arm’s length of an adult bison in the Old Faithful area. Another video featured visitors posing for pictures with bison at extremely unsafe and illegal distances.”
It is not surprising the Yellowstone’s Superintendent Dan Wenk sees the connection between all of this nonsense and vistiors’ obsession with the recent fad of selfies and social media:
“Another difference today is social media. The fact that people see others in close proximity to animals and nothing bad happened to them, that’s probably a memory that resonates with them better than the sign that says, ‘Please don’t approach more than 25 yards.’ More people see what we term as inappropriate behavior. So I think they wonder, ‘Why shouldn’t we be allowed to do the same thing or take advantage of the same situation?’”
Let’s hope this full-time social scientist can shed some light on tourist stupidity and we can put an end to all this garbage behavior.
Perfect example of blatant disregard for park policy of maintaining distance from wildlife: