Three 23-year-old men have been rescued by emergency services after getting stuck on the sacred site of Uluru in the Northern Territory, Australia.
Despite signs asking people not to walk over the site out of respect for the Indigenous Anangu people (the area’s traditional owners), the men allegedly veered off the walking path and ended up stuck in a crevice.
three stooges trio are getting dragged online, with Indigenous and non-Indigenous social media users alike implying the incident is a classic case of karma, since polite requests against climbing the rock are well-known and reiterated by tour guides, travel sites and multilingual signage in the area.
It took 11 hours for a crew of vertical rescue staff from Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services (NTES) to safely rescue the men.
Don’t want to get stuck on Uluru? How about you respects its heritage and not walk on it in the first place.
Ryan Griffen (@RyanJGriffen) September 19, 2016
Uncle Sammy Wilson, traditional owner and chairperson of the board of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, previously talked about the need for the government (who have never officially outlawed the practice) to sit down with the area’s First Nations people. “This is a sacred site that belongs to the Anangu, and some people say they want people to climb. Why? That is the big question,” he told NITV.
There are clear signs NOT to climb Uluru for cultural reasons. Well that’s what happens if you do…the mimis will get you!
Shannan Dodson (@ShannanJDodson) September 19, 2016
Wilson has previously said that if Aboriginal-operated guided tours were available to tourists, then the Anangu people would be able to share their culture, as well as receive a direct economic benefit from the site’s tourism.
“We’re not making money, the people, at the moment,” he says.”If people go and climb Sydney Harbour Bridge they make money, and this place they’re climbing, Uluru, this is from our ancestors.
“Why are they looking on top? Theyre looking at nothing, theyve got to learn and walk around Uluru.”
Meanwhile, one Facebook commenter captured the sentiment after the rescue by saying, “Uluru has a very powerful energy, this is why you don’t mess with it. And don’t ignore the advice of the traditional owners [sic] should have been simple enough.” Another said, It’s so rude. People should stay off it. Can you imagine just deciding to climb over St Pat’s Cathedral. People would go crazy. I’m not sure what they’re thinking. There are other ways you can soak in Uluru.”
Elsewhere the frequent rescues of site-climbers are a “huge effort for the NTES volunteers,” a spokesperson for the agency told the Sydney Morning Herald. “It’s wear and tear on equipment and it does cost a lot of money.”
Director of the Central Land Council, David Ross, who was not available for comment on Tuesday, has previously echoed the NTES’ safety concerns, saying the site has a “tragic safety record” that should be taken into account in decisions to ban climbing on the site.
Mashable have reached out to the Uluu-Kata Tjua National Park chairperson and Traditional Owner Sammy Wilson and the Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Corporation for further comment.