Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Man Arrested After Kicking Bison at Yellowstone National Park While Drunk

A man was injured by a bison at Yellowstone National Park after kicking the animal in the leg while under the influence. He was subsequently arrested by park officials.

According to the news release, the man, later identified as Clarence Yoder, had approached the animal ‘too closely’ on a road near one of the park’s entrances.

bigheaded bison
Visitors are told not to approach the herds of bison at Yellow National Park, as they can turn aggressive if they feel threatened

Park rangers eventually went to the area after receiving a report about an individual who was harassing a group of bison and had kicked one of them in the leg. They were able to locate the man’s vehicle, which had been parked near the West Entrance, in West Yellowstone, Montana.

The 40-year-old man was subsequently taken to a nearby medical facility, where his injuries were evaluated and treated. He was then released and taken to the detention center in Gallatin County.

Further details on the man’s injury and the encounter with the animal have not been released.

He Faces Four Charges

Park officials said he faces four charges, including approaching wildlife, disturbing wildlife, being under the influence to a degree where he may endanger himself, and disorderly conduct, each of which can carry fines up to $5,000 and several months behind bars.

yellowstone sign McKenna Bass, the driver of the vehicle he traveled in, was also arrested by officials. In addition to driving under the influence, they will also be charged for disturbing wildlife and failure to yield to police.

According to U.S. District Court documents, both individuals waived their rights to be represented by lawyers. They also pleaded not guilty.

Both individuals are now banned from Yellowstone National Park while their charges are pending.

First Bison Incident of the Year

National parks, including Yellowstone, can pose dangers to travelers, especially if they do not heed warnings about natural hazards and wildlife.

According to Yellowstone, this was the first bison incident in 2024 that involved a human being injured. The park said there was one reported case in 2023 and three in 2022.

Wildlife management specialist Hared Beaver, who works as an assistant professor at Montana State University, said harassment toward wildlife has started early this year as it typically cranks up in June and July.

yellowknife bears The park has always issued warnings about the animals, as they are wild and can be dangerous if approached. They recommend visitors to maintain a distance of at least 25 yards for all large animals, including bison, bighorn sheep, coyotes, elk, and moose, and at least 100 yards away from wolves and bears.

Of all the wildlife in the park, however, bison causes the most injuries to visitors every year.

The park said a fully grown bigheaded bison can be incredibly dangerous, especially males as they can be up to 2,000 pounds. Despite their bulky appearance, they are agile animals and can run up to 30 miles per hour and can jump as high as five feet. They can also turn aggressive quickly if they feel threatened in their personal space.

Brooke Carter
Brooke Carter
Freelance writer who loves dogs and anything related to Japanese culture.
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