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Mishaps And Missteps In Yellowstone National Park Claim One, Injure Others


A series of mishaps and missteps led to the death of one visitor to Yellowstone National Park and left several others injured, including one who received significant burns when he got too close to a thermal area, park officials said.

Park officials say Carl Dullmaier, 56, of Gernsheim, Germany, sustained a fatal head injury when he was thrown from a horse near Tower Junction on Monday. He later died from his injuries after being lifeflighted to a Billings, Montana, hospital.

And a 37-year-old man from Provo, Utah, suffered thermal burns on the Solitary Geyser Trail in the Upper Geyser Basin. He was transported by ambulance to West Yellowstone, Montana, and from there by fixed-wing aircraft to the Salt Lake City, Utah, Burn Center. Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash said Tuesday that details on the incident were vague and that he didn't know the exact circumstances of the accident or the extent of the man's burns.

Also Monday, a 65-year-old British national from Bangkok, Thailand, suffered injuries when he was thrown into the air by a bull bison at Mammoth Hot Springs. He was transported to Memorial Hospital in Livingston, Montana.

Yellowstone officials remind visitors to stay on boardwalks and designated trails while viewing all thermal features in the park. Scalding water underlies thin, breakable crusts; many geyser eruptions are unpredictable, and thermal features are near or above boiling temperatures.

Park visitors are also reminded that intentionally approaching or disturbing animals is dangerous and a violation of park regulations. Park rules require that you stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves at all times, and at least 25 yards away from all other animals including elk and bison.

Yellowstone officials respond to an average of 700 emergency medical calls each year.


It's too bad that these accidents happen, especially when a death occurs. But there are signs all over Yellowstone Nat'l Park, and other Nat'l Parks warning people over and over about the thermal springs, the buffalo and other wild animals. Plus they hand out warning pamphlets when you come in. We were there on a motorcyle one year, and the people who didn't read or wouldn't read those signs and pamphlets really put us in danger, being on the cycle, by getting up close and personal with the animals, taking pictures of them.

When we were there in 2007 I actually saw some German visitors approach a hot pool and took several chucks of the edge of the pool and put them in a pouch they were carrying. I told a Ranger. What part of "Don't Leave the boardwalk" don't they understand.

I agree with the above comments. Where is the common sense? We have seen numerous safety violations every trip there.

I got all over a lady one time after she told her two little girls to go over and pet an elk so she could take their picture. Like the park is a petting zoo or something. Yeeesh....

I knew Karl-Heinz Dullmaier. Met him almost 30 years ago on his first journey to the States when he was down here in Austin. We stayed in touch over the years and spent a lot of time together on his many trips to the States - I was going to see WC Germany 2006 with him, but personal issues got in the way and I couldn't make the trip. I spent 2 days in Yellowstone with my daughters in June - we compared notes on what to see. He was coming to Austin with his family after the Yellowstone trip - the first time we would have had the chance to meet his wife and children. A great friend and a great loss. RIP, KH.

I'm often exasperated when I hear stories about visitors to our National Parks being injured because of poor decision-making. I visited Yellowstone several years ago and was impressed by how thorough the park is in its efforts to instruct visitors about safely observing the geothermal vents and the resident wildlife. With the exception of Mr. Dullmaier's unfortunate death,there's little reason for injuries of these types to occur if you simply follow the (repeatedly) posted rules.

Karl-Heinz Dullmaier was one of the happiest, kindest and most positive person I have had the privilege to know. We met in Athens, Greece when we were exchange student workers. I visited him in Gernsheim and he was a frequent visitor to Houston. Not only was he coming to visit his fellow AIESEC trainee, but Houston also was a transportation center for him during his many excursions from his graduate studies in Louisiana. He loved to travel and was an example to me to live life and enjoy it. He and his family were coming to visit Texas after his visit to Yosemite. So so sorry K-H that we can't have a beer and listen to some country music. My sympathies to the family and friends. We have lost a bright light.

We visited the park during the time these "mishaps" happened. I feel very badly for the family and the man killed by falling from the horse. Those types of things could happen anywhere and are completely a fluke. The other two however are avoidable! We had our little people there and where very explicit and repetative in telling them there where dangers if they didn't follow directions. We personally saw a man stick his finger in one of the bright blue, clear pools and pull it out quickly as if burned. Do ya think?! The park needs to be respected and when that is a part of the experience then it is very enjoyable.

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