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Drunk Man Arrested After Kicking Bison at Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park officials arrested a 40-year-old man for being drunk and disturbing wildlife at the park. An official release from Yellowstone says rangers responded to a report that the man, Clarence Yoder of Idaho Falls, Idaho, “harassed a herd of bison and kicked a bison in the leg.” The incident happened in late April near the Seven Mile Bridge.

After Yoder reportedly kicked the bison, the animal fought back and injured Yoder. Rangers located Yoder and arrested him, charging him with the following four violations:

  • 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
  • Disturbing wildlife

The National Park Service (NPS) defines being “too close” as being within 25 yards of a bison. Visitors should stay 25 yards away from all large animals, including bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes. They should stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves.

Officials also arrested Yoder’s companion, 37-year-old McKenna Bass, who was driving the vehicle transporting Yoder. Bass’s charges include driving under the influence, failing to yield to emergency light activation, and disturbing wildlife.

After the arrest, medical professionals evaluated, treated, and released Yoder from medical care before law enforcement took him to the Gallatin County Detention Center. Yoder and Bass have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Yellowstone says each violation could result in fines up to $5,000 and six months in jail.

The park says this is the first reported incident of a bison injuring a visitor so far in 2024.

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