A visitor to Yellowstone wandered off the boardwalk at Mammoth Hot Springs thermal area Tuesday, broke through the travertine crust, and collected water from the spring.
As released by the National Park Service, a Chinese national was fined $1,000 and a $30 court processing fee for walking off the boardwalk in the Mammoth Hot Springs thermal area Tuesday, June 14, 2016. A witness said the man walked on the terrace formations near Liberty Cap and collected thermal water. The witness also said he broke through the fragile travertine crust.
An investigation revealed that the man did not read the safety information given to him at the park entrance.
The foolish and dangerous move adds to the growing list of face-palm decisions by Yellowstone tourists so far this year. Here’s the rundown.
- May 9 – Tourists load a bison calf into their vehicle because they were “concerned for its welfare.” The calf was euthanized after it could not be reunited with its herd.
- May 15 – Four bro-tastic filmmakers and photographers of the group “High on Life SundayFundayz” brazenly meandered onto America’s largest natural hot spring, the ecologically sensitive Grand Prismatic Springs. Federal arrest warrants were subsequently issued for the men.
May 29 – Despite warning from wildlife guide Jody Tibbitts, a woman exited her vehicle near Yellowstone’s West Thumb, and approached a cow elk to take pictures. The elk proceeded to charge the woman, who proved completely unprepared for the consequences of her actions. She was not injured.
June 14 – A Chinese national was fined $1,000 after strolling off the boardwalk to collect water from the Mammoth Hot Spring, which he did AFTER breaking through the fragile travertine crust. The man admitted he did not read the cautionary materials given to him at the park.
Please, please, PLEASE respect Yellowstone and its inhabitants. Put your phones away and enjoy it for what it is at a safe distance. Please.