Don’t find yourself on “Invasion of the Idiots”

If you’re a visitor to Wyoming, welcome. Thank you for coming to see why those of us who live here love it so much. But please don’t do anything that’ll get you a spot on a certain Facebook page.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of visitors enter Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. If you’re one of those visitors, thank you for coming! I hope you have a wonderful time.

You’ll see pronghorn, also called antelope, for sure. We have far more pronghorns in Wyoming than we have people. And we’re kinda’ proud of that.

It’s hard to miss bison in the park, too. They tend to hang out near the roads, where they’re easy to see.

You will probably also see deer and elk, and there’s a good chance you’ll see moose. You might even see grizzly bears. Not long ago, grizzly sightings were rare, but with the numbers of bears up, they’re much more visible. I haven’t been to Yellowstone in the last 10 years without seeing at least one grizzly.

Wolves may be harder to see, even though they, too, are well above their targeted population levels. There are a bunch of them out there, but like black bears and mountain lions, they’re pretty elusive.

Whatever you see, though, keep your distance. These are wild animals, and they can maim you. Paralyze you. They can kill you. And that’ll certainly ruin your trip.

But even if they ignore you while you pose four feet away from them so you can take your selfie, someone is bound to get your photo and post it to the Facebook page, Yellowstone National Park: Invasion of the Idiots. You’ll be instantly famous as a “touron,” which is a not very nice word we use for tourists who act like, well, morons. And your pictures on the site will likely help park rangers identify you, and then you’ll get fined.

So stay safe, keep a respectful distance from wild animals and thermal features, and enjoy your visit to Yellowstone.

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