WATCH: ‘Father of the Year’ Gets Kids To Pose With Approaching Bull Elk

by Lauren Boisvert
(Image Credit: Enn Li Photography/Getty Images)

Tourists will do just about anything in the National Parks, and that includes putting their kids at risk to get the perfect photo. Like this dad who was caught in August taking a picture of his two kids while a huge bull elk approached. The elk ended up walking right past them, but it was still incredibly irresponsible. What happens the next time, when the elk doesn’t just saunter on past?

Male elk are unpredictable and sometimes aggressive, especially now during rut season. The National Park Service recommends giving all wildlife 25 yards of space and 100 yards for bears. Watching wildlife from a distance keeps you safe and the animals safe as well.

The incident here was caught by Pat Costello of the Instagram page southeast.alaska. “Risk your kids health and safety for a photo? Would you?” they ask 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.”

This incident is definitely a case of irresponsibility and maybe even ignorance. Even though the parks have posted signs everywhere and constantly warn against getting close to wildlife, it’s possible this dad just didn’t know. Unlikely, but possible. Overall, this was a bad decision. It’s one thing to put yourself in danger like this, but leave the kids out of it.

Family Leaves Kid in the Dust Running from Huge Bull Elk at Yellowstone National Park

Back in August, there was a similar incident that almost ended in tragedy if not for the quick thinking of some park rangers. A family of tourists deliberately ignored the bright red sign right next to them that said “Stay Back: Keep 75 feet Away From Animals” and went up to a huge bull elk to take photos.

The elk pawed at the ground, showing every sign that it was about to charge. A group of park rangers stepped in, putting themselves at risk, to give this family an escape from a situation they put themselves in. The elk turned its focus on the rangers instead of the tourists, and they were able to beat a hasty retreat. The parents even left their kid in the dust while running from the huge, agitated elk. Far be it from me to comment on anyone’s parenting, but that seems like kind of a jerk move.

Overall, rangers saved that family of tourists so that they could live to bother wildlife another day. Hopefully, they learned their lesson about getting close to wild animals, though. We can only hope.