Another day, another photographer or filmmaker entering Yellowstone National Park and deciding it was their playground to break the rules. We first covered the guys that trampled all over the Grand Prismatic Spring for a video that showed off their clothing company’s new line. Not long after, a Portland man was killed after he ventured off of the well-marked trails to get close to a geothermal pool. The ground gave way, he fell in, and his body is presumed to have completely disintegrated, never to be recovered.
So, after the dangers of these extremely high-temperature springs is made evident by news making tragedies and countless warning signs, no one would be heartless enough to put their dog next to one in order to take an Instagram-worthy photo, right? Scottish-raised self-proclaimed adventure seeker Andrew Marlow says “hold my beer.”
So, let’s talk about this photo for a moment. That is dog. And as cute as Zulu looks, dogs are not allowed in most places in National Parks, with the exception of campgrounds and visitors centers, parking lots, etc. Even then, dogs need to always be leashed. And on the Yellowstone website, the pet rules clearly state:
Pets are not allowed on trails or boardwalks, in the backcountry, or in thermal areas.
Ok, well maybe we are too quick to jump to conclusion. Maybe this geothermal pool is outside of the park, therefore rendering the rules obsolete? Well, much like Donald Trump Jr, Marlow has no problem using his own typed words to incriminate himself.
Based on Trail Guide Yellowstone map, the Sentinel Meadows Trail is indeed well within park boundaries. So I guess that wasn’t the case. Ok, well maybe Marlow didn’t know dogs weren’t allowed on the trail? After all, it’s hard to imagine yourself doing anything without your four-legged companion. But, like above, Marlow knows how to show that he just doesn’t care about rules by gloating about how ‘easy’ it is to sneak a dog onto a National Park trail.
Ok, so it’s pretty clear that Marlow knows that this was highly illegal. But what really gets to me as a dog-lover is that he not only went off trail but made his dog approach the scalding hot pool in order to take his attention seeking photo for Instagram. To me, that’s just heartless. If anyone needs a reminder, the hiking page on the Yellowstone website also tells us
Stay on trails: taking shortcuts causes trail erosion and is dangerous. In hydrothermal areas, stepping on thin crust can plunge you into boiling water.
What if his dog did plunge into the water? If he wasn’t killed instantly, would Marlow have been able to save the pup in time? Would he even jump in and try or would the scalding hot water keep him away? This is not only against the law and stupid, but his actions prove that he is not above putting his dog in dangerous situations for a photo.
Marlow claims that Zulu ‘listens very well to commands,’ which I have no reason to doubt. But I had an amazing boxer who was my best friend for 11 years, and no matter how well he listened to my commands, it always took a couple of loud yells to get him to stop chasing a wild animal that he spotted out of the corner of his eye. What if the dog saw a bird flying above the thermal pool and wanted to chase it? I don’t need to tell you how that would turn out.
Well, my rant is over. At least I can be impressed that this guy wasn’t dumb enough to fly a drone in a National Park…oh, wait. The Instagram account @assholesoutside shows us that he, in fact, did just that…while having his dog off the trail and next to a thermal pool. So there you have it. The National Park law-breaking trifecta. Drone, Dogs, Off-Trail. You will forever live in infamy Andrew Marlow.
This is yet another post to remind you to please, follow the rules. No Instagram photo is worth your life, or the life of your dog. If you see something illegal, you can submit a tip to National Park Service Investigators using this form.
Also, it’s about time the National Park Service and Department of Interior really start to prosecute individuals who break the law, especially when they incriminate themselves on Instagram. This will never stop unless people actually fear the penalties that come from their law breaking actions. And the fellas who trampled the Grand Prismatic Spring did indeed get charged.
And based on Marlow’s brazen disregard for the rules, it’s apparent that just a public shaming won’t be enough for this guy to chance his ways.
Update: While writing this, Marlow has since deleted the original Instagram post.
Update 2: Marlow has since deleted his Instagram account (or changed his username)
Update 3: We got a very nice email from Jacob at the Yellowstone social media team. Help do your part!
“Sadly, we see the stuff in your article more often than we would like. In response to it, we have developed the #YellowstonePledge campaign (go.nps.gov/YellowstonePledge)