A woman visiting Yellowstone National Park over the weekend pushed the wildlife rules in an attempt to get a good photograph of an elk. It was a decision that she likely immediately regretted after the animal charged at her and knocked her to the ground.
Jody Tibbitts, one of the park’s guides, was at the park that day, with someone filming the same creature when he noticed the woman pushing her luck. Just as Tibbitts goes to warn her about getting too close, the elk took matters into her own hands. The woman quickly stood up and walked away while saying, “That won’t happen again.” To which Tibbitts replied, “I bet it won’t.”
Park regulations prohibit visitors from coming any closer than 25 yards from animals like elk, bison, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes, but warn other animals – like bears and wolves – require a greater distance of 100 yards.
Tibbitts, as well as Jeffrey Olson, a spokesman for the National Park Service, said people pushing the distance rules is becoming an increasingly common problem.
Olson said if you want a selfie, use the widest lens you have and hope for the best.
“There is just kind of an ignorant danger, and then there is a whole other level of the really self-obsessed selfie shooters — and what they do is try to close the distance between them and the animal,” Olson said, noting that breaking the rules put both visitors and wildlife in danger.
Olson concluded that people should just follow the rules because park staff “would much rather be doing interpretive programs and answering questions about that mountain, that lake, than writing tickets and hauling people to the hospital.”
Tibbitts, who agreed that selfies are a major problem in the park, also noted the elk had just given birth and was likely protecting her baby.
[ ABC ]