Wildlife Stories [very long!!]
Posted by Bal Vallah on August 12, 1998 at 23:59:47:

clever creatures
A visitor to Glacier National Park in Montana lost his car keys while attempting to lure a ground
squirrel by dangling the keys out in front of the critter. The squirrel grabbed the keys and ran down
a hole with them. The keys were never retrieved, a ranger cited the man for harassment of wildlife,
and a locksmith was called to make new car keys.

putting our loved ones at risk for a photo
In May of 1994, Tony Moore, 43, of Marietta, Georgia, was gored and seriously injured by a large male
bison in Yellowstone, next to the Lake Hotel. Moore and a friend had approached to within 15 feet of
the bison to have their pictures taken. While they were standing with their backs to the animal, it
charged. Moore's companion escaped, but Moore received a severe puncture wound in his right thigh and
was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Jackson for treatment.

watching for falling rocks
A visitor setting up camp at Lake Eleanor in Yosemite National Park hit herself on the head with a
rock while trying to string up her food to protect it from bears.

requesting assistance
In 1994, a woman visiting from the Bay Area embarked on a solo hike to the summit of El Capitan in
Yosemite. When she became lost and saw a storm brewing, she called 911 from her cellular phone and
asked to be rescued. A helicopter found her barely off the trail and one-fourth to half a mile from
the top of El Cap. When the 'copter lifted off and the woman saw how close she was to her summit
goal, she asked the crew to set her down on top. When the crew declined, she threatened to sue them
for kidnapping.

caring for the creatures
A woman, appearing rather distraught, came into the visitor center at Redwood National Park in
California to report that she had seen several Irish setters lying along the edge of the highway and
she feared they were dead or injured. Rangers explained to her that these were pieces of redwood bark
that had fallen off logging trucks.

back-seat driving, as always
When an elderly couple stopped to film some bears at Dunraven Pass in Yellowstone, a young bear
crawled into their car searching for food. Unable to make the bear leave, the exasperated (but
well-dressed) couple drove about 17 miles to the ranger station at Canyon Village with the bear in
the backseat. When the husband got out to report the incident, the bear hopped over into the front
seat so that investigating rangers found the woman in the passenger seat and the bear behind the

all tuckered out from our day hikes
In 1993 a woman called 911 from the top of Half Dome using her cellular phone. According to dispatch,
she reported: "Well, I'm at the top and I'm really tired." The answering ranger asked if she felt
sick. "No," she said, "I'm just really tired and I want my friends to drive to the base and pick me
up."The dispatcher explained that she would have to hike down the trail she had ascended. The visitor
replied, "But you don't understand, I'm really tired." What happened next? "It turned out we got
really lucky," the ranger said,"her phone battery died."

taking mementos home with us
Each year visitors to Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona pocket an estimated 12 tons of
petrified wood to take home (despite numerous warnings not to take wood and the fact that this
criminal violation carries a minimum fine of $275). Some years back, several female foreign visitors,
clad only in bikinis, were observed hiding wood in their garments. Another time, rangers received a
report that a man had put a large piece of wood in his car. Upon searching his vehicle, they found a
40-pound piece of petrified wood in his trunk. According to rangers, this visitor said he didn't know
how it got there. "My four-year-old son must have put it in there," the man said.

ever alert to terrorism
A group of European visitors came into the Wawona ranger station in Yosemite National Park and said,
"Our car is parked at the trail head and it's been blown up by terrorists." Though rangers expressed
some doubt, the visitors insisted that a bomb had exploded in their car and that they could see
powder residue from the explosives. Investigating rangers indeed found that a door had been torn off
and a powder-like substance--pancake flour--was strewn about the car."They were quite embarrassed
when we showed them the bear prints," the ranger said.

ignoring the sage advice of rangers
A camper at Long Pine Key in Everglades National Park decided to take a dip in the lake with her dog
despite signs saying "No Swimming -- Danger -- Alligators." She swam to an island about 75 yards from
the shore, then saw some alligators and refused to swim back. "Didn't you see the signs?" asked the
ranger who retrieved her in a canoe. "Sure," she said, "but I didn't think they applied to me."

Questions asked at national parks.

Zion National Park
What is your best parking area?

Mount Rainier National Park
Where's the road to the summit?

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Don't you think the polluted sky makes a much prettier sunset?

Grand Canyon National Park
Why did the Indians only build ruins?
Was this man-made?
Do you light it up at night?
I bought tickets for the elevator to the bottom--where is it?
Is the mule train air-conditioned?
So where are the faces of the presidents?

Everglades National Park
Are the alligators real?
Are the baby alligators for sale?
Where are all the rides?
What time does the two o'clock bus leave?

Mesa Verde National Park
Did people build this, or did Indians?
Why did they build the ruins so close to the road?
Do you know of any undiscovered ruins?
What did they worship in the kivas--their own made-up religion?
Why did the Indians decide to live in Colorado?

Carlsbad Caverns National Park
How much of the cave is underground?
So what's in the unexplored part of the cave?
Does it ever rain in here?
How many Ping-Pong balls would it take to fill this up?
So what is this--just a hole in the ground?

Yosemite National Park
Where are the cages for the animals?
What time of year do you turn on Yosemite Falls?
What happened to the other half of Half Dome?
Can I get my picture taken with the carving of President Clinton?

Denali National Park
What time do they let the animals out in the park?
What time do you feed the bears?
What's so wonderful about Wonder Lake?
Can you show me where yeti lives?
How often do you mow the tundra?
How much does Mount McKinley weigh?

Yellowstone National Park
Does Old Faithful erupt at night?
How do you turn it on?
When does the guy who turns it on get to sleep?
We had no trouble finding the park entrances, but where are the exits?

These are actual comments left on Forest Service registration sheets and comment cards by backpackers
completing wilderness camping trips:

"A small deer came into my camp and stole my bag of pickles. Is there a way I can get
reimbursed? Please call."

"Escalators would help on steep uphill sections."

"Instead of a permit system or regulations, the Forest Service needs to reduce worldwide
population growth to limit the number of visitors to wilderness."

"Trails need to be wider so people can walk while holding hands."

"Ban walking sticks in wilderness. Hikers that use walking sticks are more likely to chase

"All the mile markers are missing this year."

"Found a smouldering cigarette left by a horse."

"Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill."

"Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the
area of these pests."

"Please pave the trails so they can be plowed of snow in the winter."

"Chairlifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to
hike to them."

"The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying

"Reflectors need to be placed on trees every 50 feet so people can hike at night with

"Need more signs to keep area pristine."

"A McDonald's would be nice at the trailhead."

"The places where trails do not exist are not well marked."

"Too many rocks in the mountains."

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