Apparently, some visitors to Yellowstone were apparently disappointed at the lack of wildlife sightings, particularly bears, as evidenced by this “complaint” that was sent to the hotel staff.

You can see the Reddit article on this letter by clicking here

I could not believe what I was reading when I saw this letter.  The card to the hotel reads, “Our visit was wonderful but we never saw any bears. Please train your bears to be where guests can see them. This was an expensive trip to not get to see any bears.”
“Please train your bears”, this person writes.  Train your bears. 

Train your bears?  Is this person truly serious about this?  Does this person even understand what the purpose of having a national park is?  Seriously?   As if the bears belong to the park and are not free in their natural wilderness?  As if the sole purpose of the bears are to entertain you?

It is truly amazing how many people forget that when they visit the National Parks, that the wildlife is exactly what the name implies.  It is a wild animal!  That means that the animals are not there for our entertainment. The national parks are not a zoo, a circus or a pet store where animals are “trained” to entertain you and make sure that you get money’s worth.

We must not forget that when we visit the national parks, the animals are not the park’s property and they are not our property.  We are guests.  Guests in their homes, their surroundings, their habitats!

One of the best reasons I love to visit the parks is that I get to view and photograph wildlife in their natural habitats, which are supposed to be undisturbed by people. I also love to photograph the beauty of landscapes, which are protected by our Federal Government in these parks. That is protected.  Not owned.  It bothers me so much to see people doing very careless, and quite dangerous, stunts in the park with the wildlife. 

Please don’t approach the animals in the national parks and always keep a safe distance. Don’t try to take a selfie with a bison (Yes, I have actually seen someone try to do this with their back to the bison!), and don’t make demands that the wildlife do the things you want them to do.  Please obey the speed limit signs in the park because they are there for a reason, which is for your safety and the safety of the wildlife.  And especially, don’t feed the animals!  You may be thinking that you are doing something kind to the animal, but you are actually putting the wildlife in danger when you feed them.

If you feed an animal such as a moose or a bear, they end up becoming dependent on humans for food.  Also, the animals will become malnourished.  They are getting an inappropriate diet due to the disruption of their natural hunting or food-gathering behaviors.  This also presents a danger to both other people, and the animal itself.  If an animal becomes dependent on humans for food, they can and will attack humans for no reason, because they associate human beings with food.  Ultimately, they are killed because they become a danger to humans because of human disregard and irresponsibility.  It is very sad when an animal has to be put down due to no fault of it’s own.

Visit the National Parks and enjoy them.  Enjoy the beautiful images.  Safely and from a distance.  Let nature be nature!  And please, obey the rules.  Your selfie is not that important that you would endanger your life or the animal’s life with it. Keep your distance.  This is why I bring big lenses such as my 600mm lens to the parks.  I do it so that I may keep my distance and not disturb the wildlife while I photograph their magnificent beauty.  If you do not have a camera that is able to zoom in close, and you really need that selfie, then please just enjoy the wildlife from a distance and visit your local zoo to get your selfie.  Your very life, and the animal’s life, may depend on this choice.
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