YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — Four Canadian men are being investigated after they posted photos and videos of themselves walking on the Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone National Park.
The men posted a photo album and video on the Facebook page High on Life SundayFundayz. Several images, which have been removed, showed them walking off the boardwalk at the Midway Geyser Basin and some photos showed them all nearly touching the waters of the Grand Prismatic Spring.
In a YouTube video, posted by an anonymous tourist, you can clearly see the men away from the boardwalk walking onto the Grand Prismatic Spring with a camera recording the activity.
“That is absolutely against the rules,” Yellowstone spokeswoman Charissa Reid told Jackson Hole News & Guide. “Now that we know about it, we’ll give it our full attention.”
Rangers filed a criminal complaint Monday against three members of the group, identified as Charles Ryker Gamble, Alexey Andriyovych Lyakh and Justis Cooper Price-Brown.
The group has posted an apology on its Facebook page saying they were unaware of the “ecological ramifications” and safety hazards of its actions.
“We got over zealous in our enthusiasm for this wonderful place,” the post states. “When standing at the face of such natural wonder, we were drawn to it. In an attempt to get the perfect shot, we acted in a way that doesn’t reflect our respect for the environment we were trying to capture.”
The group says it will donate a dollar, up to $5,000, to Yellowstone each time someone shares a memory from Yellowstone on the park’s Facebook page with the hashtag #DonationforYellowstone.