Keep Handsy, Careless Tourists From Endangering Park Animals

Target: Charles Sams, Director of National Park Service

Goal: Mitigate dangers national park visitors pose to wildlife.

A bison calf in Yellowstone National Park was euthanized after being rejected by his herd. This tragic set of events may have begun when a park visitor reportedly tried to help the calf cross a river. Some days later, a separate group of tourists allegedly placed an elk calf in their vehicle and took the animal for a joyride. Several prior incidents included Yellowstone visitors taking selfies with wild animals or striking (and in some cases killing) wildlife with their cars.

All of these reported actions demonstrate how countless careless tourists are seemingly willfully violating park guidelines and placing innocent animals—and even themselves—at great risk. Yellowstone has clear policies both for speed limits and for keeping visitors at a specified distance from roaming wildlife. The 400-plus other national parks in America are likely facing the same critical issues.

Sign the petition below to urge the National Park Service (NPS) to exercise stricter enforcement and to take more stringent punitive actions against reckless violators of these life-saving guidelines.


Dear Director Sams,

This agency has consistently warned and advised national park visitors about the perils of violating guidelines. Yet all of the cautions to “think safely and act safely” seem to be yielding little success. In recent weeks, Yellowstone has become a case study in what reported wanton disregard for these policies can cause: a dead bison calf, two dead black bears, injured elk, and a nearly trampled human.

It is well past time for the NPS to take a stronger and more decisive stance. Warnings and cautions need to give way to strict requirements that are consistently enforced. Anyone who violates these policies and places wildlife in harm’s way should face real consequences and punishment. Please act with greater urgency to protect the U.S. national park system’s most precious commodities.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Daniel Mayer


  1. If tourists can not behave and obey the rules for their protection and that of the park animals, then throw them out of the park. Depending on their actions a fine might be in order. People can not walk into a park and expect it to be made just for their experience.

    Do unto others, including animals, what you would want done unto you.

  2. stop fining these morons that does not work. before more animals are killed because of morons with their selfies lock them up. put them in jail and maybe they will learn something. doubtful but just maybe since a time out just don’t cut it.

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