A tourist visiting Yellowstone National Park narrowly avoided disaster after approaching within a few feet of one of the park's bison, gesticulating and shouting at the animal. The bison charges him twice, but seems to be trying to intimidate rather than harm him, as it doesn't make contact and he escapes unharmed.
The incident took place in August 2018, but a video (which you can watch below) is now recirculating via social media after being shared on Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone (opens in new tab), which highlights foolish and dangerous behavior at US National Parks.
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The man, who was later identified as 55-year-old Raymond Reinke from Oregon, didn't stop at taunting bison. As the National Park Service (opens in new tab) explained, Reinke had made a nuisance of himself at various parks over the space of just a few days, which according to NBC (opens in new tab) was intended to be a 'last hurrah' before he and a friend entered alcohol treatment.
In late July, Reinke was arrested at Grand Teton National Park for drunk and disorderly conduct and jailed overnight before being released on bond. He then moved on to Yellowstone where he was stopped for a traffic violation. The bison incident took place shortly afterwards, leading authorities to revoke his bond and issue a warrant for his arrest.
Reinke was found and arrested at Glacier National Park after other park visitors reported two people arguing loudly. He was found guilty of harassing wildlife, interfering with law enforcement, and disorderly conduct, and sentenced to 130 days in jail. He was also banned from Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier.
The judge told him "You're lucky the bison didn't take care of it, and you're standing in front of me."
Harassing wild animals is never a good idea, and forbidden in National Parks, but bothering bison in August is particularly unwise as the animals are in their mating season, known as the rut. During this time, males can become more unpredictable and aggressive
- Watch wildlife from a safe distance with the best binoculars and monoculars
Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).
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