Female Tourist Ripped for Playing With Baby Dangerously Close to Glacier National Park Rapids: Pics

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Susan Ruggles

Recently, images went viral showing a mom and her baby getting far too close to raging waters in Glacier National Park. The string of pics, which left us face-palming, shows a mom and her young child sitting way too close to the park’s intense rapids near McDonald Falls. To make it even worse, the two are sitting at a steep incline on the rock face as the mom holds the baby’s hands so it can stand up.

Users slam mom for behavior in Glacier National Park, accuse her of child endangerment

After the photo went up, many took to the comments to rip the mom apart for her ill-advised actions. “Child Endangerment! Wished the Videographer and/or others told her out loud to back off that rock with her baby,” wrote one angry user. Someone else shared the sentiment, writing, “Can’t count the number of times I have slipped on slick rocks near water and we’re talking a simple fall in an inch or so of water. I would have gone off on her. So effen irresponsible, child endangerment.”

This moment also reminds us of another dim-witted incident by a fellow parent. In August, a Yellowstone visitor caught a dad taking a picture of his two kids while a massive bull elk approached. Thankfully, the elk walked right past them, but it didn’t stop people from commenting on how irresponsible it was. It makes us wonder if the bull could’ve reacted much more aggressively should the incident have happened in the fall — the animal’s rutting season.

Dad puts his life and his children’s in danger for a picture

The behavior of male elk changes drastically during the rut. The elk can become unpredictable and aggressive, meaning you want to be far away from one when it’s in this heightened state. According to the National Park Service, it’s best to give these animals at least 25 yards of distance to stay safe.

During the reckless moment, Pat Costello caught the incident and uploaded it to their personal Instagram account.

“Risk your kid’s health and safety for a photo? Would you?” they pose in the caption. “I watched this scene unfold during my recent visit to Yellowstone National Park near the Lake Lodge. Park Service communications warn visitors to stay 25 yards or more from elk and bison because they can be aggressive and charge without warning. Even so, I saw quite a few people within that range, apparently relying on luck to see them through.”

It’s a no-brainer that the move was highly irresponsible to put himself and his children’s lives in danger of getting gored or even killed. In addition, there’s no excuse for it, as Yellowstone does a great job of posting signs everywhere to avoid wildlife. Although we constantly write about staying a safe distance away from wildlife here at Outsider, it bears repeating. Simply put, a picture isn’t worth your life or your children’s.