I normally do not pull out my soapbox and take on an issue, but this current “Touron” thing occurring in places such as Yellowstone National Park and being touted on various social media sites needs some discussion. Having just returned from my annual fall photo trip to Yellowstone, I arrived home thoroughly disgusted with the behavior of many Park visitors. It appears from watching the abhorrent behaviors, of these so called “Turons,” that they feel Park rules and regulations do not apply to them. It’s as if these folks, because they are in the Park, feel they can approach animals as if they were pets or “tamed” game farm animals. Trust me they are not tame. And if an animal does turn on an approaching individual, “it is the animal’s fault”.
On two separate occasions I witnessed visitors approach Park animals and get within feet of them. Park rules clearly state everywhere to “Stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves” and “Stay at least 25 yards away from all other animals”. And yet we have our Turons ignoring those simple rules. These folks seem to be challenging the animal, or certainly challenging the rules so they can appear on a Turon social media site. You ask them why they fail to consider their safety and the safety of the animal, and they will just shrug their shoulders, tell you to mind your own business, or simply ignore you and continue to approach to get that “close up cell phone photo shot”.
Am I angry? You bet I am. This behavior is simply not safe. It is reckless and not in the best interest of protecting the animal or themselves, and certainly demonstrates disregard for those who honor the rules.