VIDEO: Disrespectful Motorcyclists Get Too Close to Bison Calves in Yellowstone
The men (and not kids, as we speculated) are 25-year-old Dallin McCallister and 36-year-old Tyler McCallister. They have appeared in front of a federal judge and are charged with riding vehicles in places they shouldn't, and intentionally frightening the wildlife. They have plead NOT guilty. The NBCMontana article can be read HERE.
It's a fact: someone does something stupid in Yellowstone National Park every single day. But most of the time it's not out of malice, but out of ignorance. People approach wild animals in the Park because they want a good selfie, or they want to pet a bison -- stupid, yes. But malicious, no.
But this video, taken on 9/11 in the Park, shows not only foolhardiness but a general lack of regard for the Park's wildlife.
Uploaded to Youtube just this morning, the video centers on a goup of young motorcyclists abusing animals in the park by getting too close to them, including riding their motorcycles close to juvenile bison and off-road. They were lucky enough to avoid the same fate as the woman in this summer's other biker/bison encounter, at least.
The video highlights a bigger issue that is inherent to National Parks. They are at once nature preserves, ways of protecting parsels of natural wilderness from the encroachment of development, and (at least in the eyes of some people) amusement parks. And when you go to the amusement park, you go with a sense of entitlement; you go to be amused. And if that means that you're going to buy a fried twinkie, that means you'll do it, and damn the consequences. When you go to a place with that kind of mindset, especially one that teems with dangerous and precious wildlife, you risk not just a stomachache but the wellbeing and even lives of those around you.
We show this video not to point any fingers at the kids.
Certainly we don't know these young people, and we assume that they are decent kids, that their parents raised them to respect other people and animals. They are probably just acting with the abundance of confidence and daring that characterize youth. But they are also playing with forces that dwarf them in every sense, not to mention can run at 35 mph and weight up to a ton.
Please, please, please. If you are going to go into a National Park, a sacred and treasured place, a place that exists to facilitate a communion with the beauty and power of nature, behave with a little regard for others. And don't piss off the giant beasts.