Yellowstone wildlife need to watch out for a very strange man who seems to enjoy chasing wolves and black bears shirtless. Images of the man were captured by professional wildlife photographer Derek Nielsen prior to videos of the same guy in June “jumping out of his car, taking his shirt off and running at black bears near the roadside,” according to the Cowboy State Daily.
Photo source: @TouronsOfYellowstone - Instagram
The videos, which have circulated on social media, clearly show the man harassing wildlife, charging and waving his hands around, barking and grunting at the confused animals. For now, the animals seem to flee; however, that could change if the man decides to approach the wrong one, which could result in an attack (that would be almost warranted given what the man is doing) or something much worse in Nielson’s opinion.
“He’s going to end up getting an animal killed,” said Nielson.
While the National Park Service (NPS) has investigated the incidents, the agency concluded that the still unidentified man didn’t take the videos in Yellowstone despite what everyone seems to think.
“The investigation led by park law enforcement officers recently revealed that the incidents did not occur in Yellowstone, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem or in any other national park,” said NPS spokeswoman Morgan Warthin.
Yet Nielson doesn’t agree. He took the wolf harassment photos back in 2020 when he and his wife decided to travel to Yellowstone for a much-needed break during the pandemic. They headed to Lamar Valley so the photographer could take photos since it’s a “well-known wolf hangout,” according to the Cowboy State Daily.
Instead, their quiet photo session of a dark-colored wolf was interrupted by the shirtless man “tearing through the wild grass and sagebrush” directly at the animal. Neilsen’s photos show a wolf that seems to be annoyed rather than angry, but that could change. While luck seems to be on the unidentified man’s side considering that one knows who he is and he hasn’t been mauled yet, Nielsen hopes someone – or something – puts an end to his behavior.
“I’m much more concerned about the animals,” said Nielsen.
What do you think? Is this guy just a stupid tourist? Do you know who he is?