Yellowstone Tourist Fined $1K for Leaving Boardwalk
And collecting water from a hot spring
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2016 6:35 PM CDT
Tourists take photos from the boardwalk of Mammoth Hot Spring in Yellowstone National Park in 2015.   (Michael Wright/Bozeman Daily Chronicle via AP)

(Newser) – If you've ever wondered, "What's the worst thing that could happen if I stray from the boardwalk at Yellowstone?", well, the worst thing that could happen is you could be killed in a thermal hot spring. But, among the lesser-but-still-unfortunate consequences, you could be fined $1,000 plus a $30 court processing fee. That's what happened to a Chinese man visiting the Mammoth Hot Springs area of the national park, who was seen leaving the boardwalk, collecting thermal water, and breaking through the fragile travertine crust near Liberty Cap on Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle reports.

After a witness took photos and turned them in, officials interviewed the man, who admitted to taking water from the hot springs (he said he wanted it for "medicinal purposes," the AP reports) and said he hadn't read the safety information he was given at the entrance to the park. In addition to being fined, he was hit with a federal violation notice, meaning he must appear at the Yellowstone Justice Center Court. "Without visitor cooperation, park natural wonders will continue to be damaged and more individuals may be injured or killed," park officials say in a press release.