NPS: He Came, He Saw, He Kicked a Bison

Pair of tourists from Idaho Falls arrested after incident in Yellowstone
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2024 8:36 AM CDT
Man Accused of Kicking Bison in Yellowstone
A pedestrian walks past the entrance to Yellowstone National Park on June 15, 2022, in Gardiner, Montana.   (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

A visitor's encounter with a bison at Yellowstone National Park ended badly for both bison and man, though it looks like man ultimately got the short end of the stick. NBC News reports that a tourist from Idaho was arrested earlier this month after allegedly kicking one of the huge animals, which in turn ended up injuring him. Per a release from the National Park Service, rangers responded to a call on April 21 of someone harassing a bison herd and kicking one of the animals in the leg.

When they arrived on the scene, they found 40-year-old Clarence Yoder of Idaho Falls in a vehicle driven by McKenna Bass, 37, also of Idaho Falls, near the park's west entrance in West Yellowstone, Montana. Officials say Yoder had been hurt during the bison interaction, and so rangers first took him to a nearby medical center for treatment of minor injuries, then to the Gallatin County Detention Center. Yoder was charged with being under the influence of alcohol to a degree that may endanger oneself, disorderly conduct as to create or maintain a hazardous condition, approaching wildlife, and disturbing wildlife, per the NPS.

Bass was charged with failing to yield, driving under the influence, and disturbing wildlife. The park service says both have pleaded not guilty. Each violation can lead to up to six months behind bars and up to a $5,000 fine. Per the AP, bulls can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and run as fast as 40mph, regularly hurting tourists who wander too close. Yellowstone guidelines tell visitors to stay at least 25 yards away from bison and other large wildlife in the park. (More Yellowstone National Park stories.)

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