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Drunk Idaho man arrested after kicking bison in Yellowstone Park

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyoming – A reckless act of aggression toward a bison in Yellowstone National Park has led to the arrest of two Idaho residents and a slew of charges.

Encounter with Yellowstone bison leads to arrests and charges for Idaho residents

The incident, which occurred April 21 along West Entrance Road near the Seven Mile Bridge, involved 40-year-old Clarence Yoder of Idaho Falls. According to park officials, Yoder, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, approached a bison within 80 feet, violating safety regulations and harassing the herd. In a display of ruthlessness, he kicked one of the animals in the leg, trigger a defensive reaction from the bison.

The consequences of Yoder's actions were as swift and severe as he was suffered minor injuries during the encounter. Park rangers quickly intervened and arrested Yoder and the driver of the vehicle, identified as McKenna Bass, 37, also of Idaho Falls, near the west entrance. Both individuals were subsequently arrested in the town of West Yellowstone, Montana.

Buffalo grazing in Hayden Valley, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

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Yoder's injuries required medical attention and he was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation and treatment. After being released from medical care, he was taken into custody and taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center where he was charged with his behavior in the park.

According to park authorities, Yoder is charged with, among other things, being under the influence of alcohol to the extent that he may endanger himself, disorderly conduct that creates or maintains dangerous conditions, and approaching and disturbing wildlife. Similar, Bass is charged with driving under the influence, disorderly conduct by failing to use emergency lights and disturbing wildlife.

The Yellowstone Park bison, also known as the American bison (Bison bison)

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Appear in court

Both Yoder and Bass appeared in court on April 22 where they pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. Yellowstone National Park officials have outlined the seriousness of the violations, emphasizing that each violation carries fines of up to $5,000 and a maximum of six months in prison.

The incident has prompted renewed scrutiny of visitor behavior in Yellowstone, with park authorities reiterating the importance of respecting wildlife and adhering to established safety protocols. Although this incident is the first reported case of a visitor being injured by a bison this year, it is a reminder of the inherent risks associated with human-wildlife interaction in natural environments.

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Gallery credit: Stacker

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