Two tourists are now facing criminal charges for getting dangerously close so that they could look at the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park, officials said.
The men were photographed last week at the edge of Old Faithful, peering down into the natural wonder. They were apparently unaware that they could have been seriously burned, or worse, if the boiling hot water had erupted, as it “faithfully” does every hour.
One of the tourists had a phone in his right hand and apparently was taking an up-close-and-personal snapshot of Old Faithful. They ignored signs that are prominent on trails throughout the park, a witness said.
“And no, there is no barrier. They simply stepped off the boardwalk,” a woman who took pictures of the misbehaving tourists told NBC News on Monday.
She said that signs are all over the park, “including right off the boardwalk where they stepped off.”
The unidentified men were given a summons for thermal trespassing and they will have to appear in federal court in December, according to the National Parks Service.
Yellowstone National Park tweeted this message: “Whether you’re looking for colorful springs or grand canyons, always remember to practice #SafeSelfies! No picture is worth hurting yourself, others, or the park. Be aware of your surroundings whether near wildlife, thermal areas, roads, or steep cliffs.”
“Thermal area safety is an extremely important part of any trip to Yellowstone,” according to parks service statement on Monday.
Federal prosecutors could not be immediately reached for comment on Monday.
Yellowstone, while not mentioning these two men, warned visitors on Friday to be careful while taking pictures around the sprawling park, which spills into Wyoming, Montana
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