Yellowstone is Shooting Paintballs at Wolves and Says It’s for Their Own Good
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Wildlife and human interaction within Yellowstone has always been an issue. Littered across the park are signs which read “Do Not Take Selfies With The Bison,” signs you might not think should be necessary, yet are. Conservationists familiar with the park and Rangers alike are renowned for their stories, seemingly cherry-picked from an episode of Yogi Bear, about bison wreaking havoc on park visitors who just wanted to get up close for a picture, or of tourists maniacally interacting with grizzly bears, acting as if the park were a zoo, not a wild place.
In the last five years, annual visitation has only dipped below 4 million once (last year), continuing to grow at a steady click sans the pandemic, and the habituation of animals to humans has grown along with it, especially in regards to wolves. To combat this, park officials are turning to paintballs, among a variety of other non-lethal hazing methods, as an alternative to killing the wolves, in the hopes that they will be able to deter the apex predator from further engagement and interaction with visitors.
The crowds that form when wildlife is spotted are astronomical, according to Yellowstone Senior Wildlife Biologist Doug Smith. “This is the best place in the world to view free-ranging, wild wolves. Whenever there’s a sighting a crowd develops, cars pull off, and cause massive traffic jams.”
There’s no respite for these animals either. “It’s a year-round thing,” Smith said. “When you have hundreds of thousands of people actively looking for you a year, you’re going to get used to people.”
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
May 4, 2021 at 12:44 PM #421083NV WinoModerator
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Shoot paintballs at the tourists. Then close the park and let the animals have it.
May 4, 2021 at 4:35 PM #421144HassleCatParticipant
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A few years ago,my wife and I were driving through Shenandoah National Park when we encountered a traffic jam. Nothing was moving in either direction and we crept along at a snail’s pace. Finally, we made enough progress to see what caused the tie-up. A black bear was sitting beside the road and people were stopping their cars in the road and getting way too close to the bear. I was annoyed by the delay and said, “You’d think these goddamn people had never seen a bear before!” My wife looked at me and said, “Of course they haven’t!” I felt a little stupid for a minute. For millions of people, the only time they will see a bear or a moose or a wolf or a bison is in a park. They will “interact” with the animals and the animals will get used to it. If a few tourists get bit, stomped on, gored, etc. no big deal. Don’t harrass the animals to prevent the tourists from harrassing the animals.
May 4, 2021 at 5:10 PM #421148SatanParticipant
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Sure, mama bear looks harmless enough here. And certainly smart enough not to let the babies jump into the pool and drown themselves (assuming they haven’t learned how to swim yet)
But if the woman filming the video had just happened to open that door while the one cub stayed behind, and mama bear came back and interpreted the situation wrong…. this video could have had a much different ending. And probably not up on YouTube..
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable". - John F. Kennedy
May 4, 2021 at 6:46 PM #421178Ohio BarbarianModerator
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For the wolves.
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