A Rant About Wildlife Jams

Wildlife on Roadway

Look, I realize it’s a national park, and there are animals here you don’t get to see every day. I understand that you’re excited to see the bison. Who isn’t? They’re magnificent. So how about, just a thought, if you could pull off the fucking road to take your pictures?

Do you not see the line of cars piling up behind you? How can you look in the mirror and not realize that you’re being a complete arsehole?

Roadside Bison

Yes, it’s a goddamn bison. We see it, too. We just don’t want to sit there and wait while you, or your stupid kids, marvel at it and try to take a picture with your goddamn phone. There’s a turnout right there. Use it. Seriously, is it so fucking difficult to just pull off the road?

What in the wide world of fuck were you thinking bringing the kids here, anyway? The kids wanted to go to Disney, and you dragged them to the middle of goddamn Wyoming. Yay. Parents of the year, over here.

You don’t need to stop because there’s a bison out on the horizon. It’s two thousand yards away: a Navy SEAL sniper couldn’t hit that motherfucker, but you’re going to get a picture with your phone? No. This isn’t your only chance to see a bison at Yellowstone: you’re going to see hundreds while you’re here. Eventually you’re going to end up in one of these:

Bison Jam
Herd in Road

See, up close and personal, and you don’t even have to drag your lazy arse out of the car! And it’s perfectly fine to stop, because, I mean, what else are you going to do?

But look at this clusterfuck.

Line of Cars

That’s not because the buffalo herd is in the road. That’s a half-mile of cars lined up, waiting, because you thought it was a good idea to stop in the middle of the damn road. The herd was next to the road, not in it. Directly across from a turnout. You stopped right next to a fucking turnout to hold your phone out the window, you stupid git.

Bison in Mist
Not in a traffic jam.

Oh, dear, the nearest turnout this time is two hundred feet away? Boo fucking hoo. Get out of the car and walk back to the elk, you lazy fuck. Why is it, when there’s a crowd, and I park off the road and walk, I find myself surrounded by British and Australian and German and French accents? Are Americans really this fucking lazy? You’re over the fucking moon to see a herd of buffalo, but you can’t be arsed to walk thirty seconds to take that video you’re never going to watch?

Bears are the worst. You see a bear and you just lose your shit. You’ll park the car and get out right in the middle of the bloody lane so no one can get by, while you try to get a picture of a bear that’s two hundred goddamn yards away, with your phone. Look, here’s what a bear looks like from a traffic jam, using a 300mm lens you don’t have, cropped all to hell:

Crappy bear picture

Crap, right? What do you think that picture is going to look like with your fucking phone? It’s a fucking black speck in the middle of a picture of some trees, but no, take all the time you need to get it, we’ll fucking wait. It’s not like you’ve given us a choice. It’s really important that you sit there looking at your phone instead of the bear, getting that black-speck picture so you can show your friends back home and they can be like “what the fuck is that?” and you can double-pinky-swear that it’s a bear, really it is.

Bear
Not in a traffic jam.

Want to see a bear in Yellowstone? Go out to the Tower Falls area, the road from Tower to Mammoth Hot Springs, or the northeast entrance road, early in the morning or late in the afternoon. When you find one, park your damn car. Want to see one close up without walking? Get out there at five in the morning. There’s at least a chance you’ll find one near the road, and there won’t be any traffic, and you can get into a turnout, and you can maybe get a recognizable picture. Oh, what, is that too early? Did you come to Yellowstone to fucking sleep?

Here’s a ranger, heroically trying to keep traffic moving despite the exciting presence of some elk.

ranger

He’s got “no-stopping zone” signs posted a couple hundred yards in either direction, and he keeps shouting “keep moving” and waving cars on, but the plonkers keep stopping right next to him anyway, with phones hanging out of windows and cars backing up behind. The patience of a saint, him. See, you’re such a dick that they have to send fucking park rangers out to tell you not to be a dick. Do you think there might be something better he could be doing?

Oh, you want to see the elk? Here, I got out of my car, so you can.

elk

Now, was that really so difficult?

Want to see elk close-up without exerting yourself? They hang around in Mammoth Hot Springs all the time. Right there in the town. You barely have to walk at all!

Do Not Approach
elk photographer

Or, what the hell, don't even bother stopping your car:

Photography While Driving
This has got to be worse than texting while driving.

So, next time you see some animal along the road, please, pull the fuck over. Or better yet, just go to Disney like they wanted.