Yellowstone officials keep warning visitors about the dangers of the park's hot springs, but curiosity seems to be stronger than fear. A 21-year-old suffered severe burns this week when he fell into a spring in the park's Lower Geyser Basin, reports East Idaho News. Gervais Gatete of Raleigh, NC, had to be airlifted to a hospital in Salt Lake City. It's still not clear what happened, reports the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, but Gatete had been with seven other people when he fell in about midnight Tuesday. They got him into a car and eventually flagged down a park ranger, who summoned medical help.
"Yellowstone’s thermal features are dangerous," park superintendent Dan Wenk says in a statement. “We continually stress that people must stay on trails and boardwalks in geyser basins, not only to protect resources, but for their own safety." Gatete, who works for Xanterra Parks and Resorts, might consider himself lucky. Late last year, a man slipped into a hot spring elsewhere in the park and was essentially dissolved in the scalding liquid. (Read more Yellowstone National Park stories.)