Since opening to the public more than 150 years ago, Yellowstone National Park has seen its number of fatal incidents involving tourists acting in an unsafe manner. Injuries involving visitors getting too close to animals continue to take place within park boundaries every year.

Having visited Yellowstone National Park numerous times, I've seen my share of people behaving like idiots. I've personally seen several camera-toting tourists nearly gored by wild animals at Yellowstone, and judging by the number of park videos shared to sites such as YouTube, the idea of getting a picture of wildlife takes precedent over safety.

Since park personnel began tracking such incidents, hundreds of people have been injured by wildlife, eight have died from bear attacks, 121 have drowned, 21 have suffered fatal burns from thermal pools, and dozens of others have succumbed to injuries that were highly preventable.

In 2020, a 72-year-old woman made national news after being gored to death by a bison. She reportedly ignored warnings to not get too close to the animal. Just last year, a video was shared by a tourist that showed a young woman nearly getting trampled by a bison for getting too close, and it just keeps happening.

More than 20 people have died since 1979 after falling into thermal pools alone. I've been on these wooden pathways and bridges that surround these pools, and believe me, it takes a special breed of human to not pay attention to their surroundings in these highly-visited park locations.

My advice to people planning to visit the park soon is to pay attention, and not become one of these statistics. Cameras have zoom lenses for a reason.

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