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A Yellowstone visitor kicked a bison, and that did not end well, rangers say

A Yellowstone visitor ended up at the hospital and then in jail after an allegedly drunken run-in with a bison, park officials said.

Rangers on April 21 received a report of a visitor harassing a herd of bison near Yellowstone’s west entrance. The man reportedly kicked one bison in the leg and was then injured by the animal; he left in a vehicle driven by another man.

The car was pulled over in the town of West Yellowstone, Mont., and both men were arrested, the park’s report said. They are from Idaho Falls, Idaho, about 100 miles away.

The alleged kicker, who is 40 years old, was taken to a hospital for treatment of unspecified “minor injuries” inflicted by the bison. He then was taken to the Gallatin County jail, and charged with multiple crimes:

  • 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 car’s driver, who is 37, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, failing to yield to emergency light activation, and disturbing wildlife.

The men pleaded not guilty the following day. Each violation can result in a fine of up to $5,000 and six months in jail.

Yellowstone visitors are required to remain 25 yards from any bison.

The man’s injury was the first by a Yellowstone bison this year, the park said. Last year, one visitor was injured by a bison — a 47-year-old Arizona woman who was gored.

Source: Orange County Register

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