How to Stay Safe at Yellowstone Park After Man Burned to Death and Dissolved in Hot Springs

A geyser or wild animal selfie is no reason to risk your life.

Yellowstone National Park is known for its world famous geysers and abundance of wildlife, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be careful.

In recent weeks, the park has been earning a reputation for something far more sinister thanks to a disturbing amount of dangerous encounters within its grounds.

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Colin Scott, a recent college graduate from Portland, Oregon, suffered a gruesome death when he left a designated trail and fell into an acidic, scalding hot spring.

He walked along fragile ground for 225 yards in flip flops before slipping and falling into a hot spring. Incredibly, there was nothing left of him to recover as his body dissolved.

At a colorful hot spring in Yellowstone earlier this month, a young boy was airlifted with serious burns after he and his father ignored warning signs and strayed from the walkway.

Last month, four tourists risked their lives by venturing into a restricted area just so that they could takes selfies and film themselves standing and even touching the bubbling hot spring.

Some of the hot springs are potentially deadly. The surface reading of one spring is over 140 degrees but the under surface temperate is 200.

How can a tourist stay safe inside the park? Morgan Warthin with the National Park Service gave these tips.

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When approaching the hot springs, remain on the boardwalk or risk being burned or killed.

“It looks beautiful and stunning,” she said. “It looks inviting yet the boardwalks are here for a reason. They are here to keep visitors safe.”

Always remember that even if the ground around the thermal pool looks solid, it could still collapse.

“It's extremely fragile ground and what we do not know is how thick some of this ground is,” she said.

Another danger inside the park is tourists are getting too close to wild animals.

In 2012, a 1,000-pound bison charged at a crowd of children.

Earlier this month, a woman was trying to take a photo of an elk got too close and the animal charged her. Fortunately, she was not hurt.

Don't even think about getting a selfie with wild animals on social media.

All smart safety rules for visitors who want to savor the beauty of Yellowstone rather than fall victim to its deadly power.

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