Thursday, July 15, 2010

Idiots in The National Parks

A while back I talked about people and wildlife in our National Parks and how "meet-ups" are sometimes inevitable. And how often they are not but some folks can't seem to help themselves and like to force the issue. As foolish as that sounds it happens all the time.

Case in point... a recent visit to Assateague National Seashore where the main attraction are the wild horses. Descendants of 17th century livestock they are today truly wild. In the Visitor's Center, at the park's entrance and in various spots throughout the entire park, signs warn of the dangers of getting too close to these creatures. Every single driver of every vehicle that enters the park is handed this bright yellow paper from the attending ranger:

So, nobody can honestly claim ignorance here. The cautions and warnings are clear and are everywhere.

Now, it is one thing for you, as an adult, to make up your mind to take a chance, risk getting close. That's your choice. But to allow your child to get close, to even encourage her! Just so you can take a picture? Seriously... WTF! Parents... Stop being dumb asses!

Lastly, here's what you find at the Park's website.

Assateague's horses are beautiful, tough, and wild. They have learned to survive in a harsh environment. Feeding and/or petting them is detrimental to both visitors and horses. Horses can get sick from human food. Those that learn to come up to the road to beg for food are often hit and killed by cars. Visitors are kicked, bitten and knocked down every year as a direct result of getting too close to the wild horses. Treating wild horses like tame animals takes away the wildness that makes them special. Protect your family by respecting theirs. Give the horses the space they need to be wild.

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