Watching videos of people interacting with nature in America’s national parks can be downright scary. One recent Instagram video shows that some tourons — a combination of “tourist” and “moron” — lack some common sense.
The video, posted on the Tourons of National Parks (@touronsofnationalparks) page, shows a video of a woman with two children in Sequoia National Park. The woman and her children ducked underneath the safety guardrails and are shown walking along the rocky edge as onlookers watch.
The guardrails are not just a suggestion at national parks like Sequoia; they’re essential for keeping certain areas of the park safe from treading feet and damage. They can be used in areas with plants that are still growing back after a disturbance or areas that are especially sensitive to external pressures. Blatantly disregarding these off-limit areas can not only set a place back ecologically but can also put tourists at risk of slipping or falling.
Some parks designate off-limit areas to protect the species that live there. In 2022, the National Parks Service blocked off Hyperion, the world’s tallest living tree, after hikers and travelers had trampled over the ground in the Redwoods National Parks to see the magnificent tree. The tourists left human waste and trash along the way, which created an issue for wildlife and other species in the park, too.
Other Instagram users were shocked by the daring nature of the woman and her ability to put the young children into harm’s way without a second thought. “I think the phrase we’re looking for is ‘child endangerment,’” one user wrote.
“Potentiating the cycle of entitled individuals without respect for rules or nature by literally *teaching* her children rules don’t apply to them,” another user described. “[It] truly makes my heart hurt.”
Other users suggested increasing the policing of the area or imposing fines to prevent tourists from risking their safety.
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