WATCH: Idiotic Tourists Hand Feed Elk Cow at Rocky Mountain National Park

by Lauren Boisvert

In outdoor news that is both unbelievable and makes perfect sense for people visiting National Parks in this day and age, a group of tourists was recorded feeding and petting a wild elk cow in Rocky Mountain National Park. In the video, posted on Instagram courtesy of Vic Schendel, a group of people gathers in front of a female elk. They let it lick their hands, pet it on the head, and possibly give it food. That’s a big no-no with wildlife.

Park visitors are supposed to stay at least 25 yards away from all wildlife. But, these people walked right up to the elk and pet it like it was a dog. Newsflash: it’s not a dog. What happens when you’re feeding the wildlife and you run out of food but the wildlife isn’t done yet? Then, that elk becomes a nuisance, following people around looking for more food and getting into places it shouldn’t be. Most likely officials will remove it from the park and possibly even euthanize it. Not only is being dumb around wildlife detrimental to your wellbeing, but it’s also detrimental to the ecosystem of the National Parks.

What we can say for these people is at least it wasn’t a bull elk. Plenty of people get too close to bull elk. While this is still very dangerous, at least these people weren’t trying to pet a rack of antlers. Additionally, rutting season is coming up for elk. From September through the fall the male elk are going to be more aggressive and boisterous. It’s a sight to see, but from a safe distance.

Tourists Get Too Close to Elk, Social Media Roasts Them

Recently, a park-goer filmed people standing on the side of the road in Yellowstone National Park taking pictures of an elk with not nearly enough space between them. The elk was grazing, minding its own business for its part, while another male elk stood in the distance. The long line of people, children included, were too concerned with taking a good photo than with whether or not being that close was a good idea.

The Instagram account Tourons of Yellowstone–which posts videos and photos of National Park tourists doing stupid stuff with wildlife–posted the video of the group. Rule-abiding National Park goers ripped into them in the comments.

“It always amazes me that (many) visitors manage to book flights, hotels, cars, and dress & feed themselves – but have no sense of self-preservation around wildlife,” wrote one viewer.

Another considered what the elk might do. They wrote, “Nothing would make me happier than seeing this elk just plowing through that croc-laden crowd.”