A Chinese tourist was caught by park rangers dangerously walking off the boardwalk in Yellowstone National Park’s Mammoth Hot Springs on Tuesday.
The unnamed visitor from China further broke park regulations by breaking through the fragile travertine crust and collecting thermal water from the hot springs near Liberty Cap, reported local news KPAX. He paid a $1,000 fine and $30 court processing fee after admitting to his infractions.
Authorities revealed Wednesday that the tourist claimed he did not read the safety brochure provided at the park entrance. In addition to the fine, he is also required to appear at the Yellowstone Justice Center Court.
Hoteliers and merchants have noticed a spike in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton Park in the past year. While business has generally been good, park operators have noticed that the increase has resulted in several cases of cross-cultural misunderstanding.
Some Chinese visitors reportedly cut through lines, openly violated park restrictions and even vandalized park toilets, according to the Associated Press. Last year, several vault toilets in Grand Teton park were broken due to misuse by Chinese tourists.
Park operators urge all visitors to observe regulations at all times to ensure not just the tourists’ safety but also the safety of the park natural resources.