After a string of incidents involving wild animals and visitors at Yellowstone National Park, the National Parks Service issued a warning to tourists.
"Approaching wild animals can drastically affect their well-being and, in some cases, their survival. When an animal is near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot, on a road, or in a developed area, leave it alone and give it space," the Parks Service wrote.
The agency provided several recent examples of dangerous encounters between tourists and wild animals. First, the park said that visitors need to slow down as they drive through the park, citing recent examples of several bears that were killed after being struck by cars.
The NPS also noted that a baby bison was recently killed after a park visitor picked it up and moved it. That man was charged with intentionally disturbing wildlife in the park and has pleaded not guilty.
In another incident, a family put a baby elk in their car and brought it to the West Yellowstone, Montana, Police Department. The elk managed to escape and ran into the woods.
Getting too close to animals, even to take a selfie, can be extremely dangerous to both people and the animals.
"Park regulations require that you stay at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all wildlife (including bison, elk, and deer) and at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves. Disregarding these regulations can result in fines, injury, and even death," the agency said.