Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming - A reckless act of aggression toward a bison at Yellowstone National Park has led to the arrest of two Idaho residents and a slew of charges.

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Yellowstone Bison Encounter Leads to Arrests and Charges for Idaho Residents


The incident, which occurred on April 21 along the 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 25 yards, violating safety regulations and harassing the herd. In a display of recklessness, he kicked one of the animals in the leg, triggering a defensive response from the bison.

The consequences of Yoder's actions were swift and severe as he sustained minor injuries during the encounter. Park rangers swiftly intervened, apprehending Yoder and the vehicle's driver, identified as McKenna Bass, 37, also from Idaho Falls, near the West Entrance. Both individuals were subsequently detained in the town of West Yellowstone, Montana.

Buffalos grazing at Hayden Valley, Yellowstone, National Park, Wyoming, USA
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Read More: Yellowstone Bison Attack Survivor Says 'Yes' to Hospital Proposal

Yoder's injuries necessitated medical attention, and he was transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation and treatment. Following his release from medical care, he was taken into custody and transported to the Gallatin County Detention Center to face charges related to his behavior within the park.

According to park authorities, Yoder faces charges including being under the influence of alcohol to a degree that may endanger oneself, disorderly conduct creating or maintaining hazardous conditions, as well as approaching and disturbing wildlife. Similarly, Bass faces charges of driving under the influence, interference for failure to yield to emergency light activation, and disturbing wildlife.

The Yellowstone Park bison also known as American bison (Bison bison)
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Appearing In Court

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

The incident has prompted renewed scrutiny of visitor conduct within Yellowstone, with park authorities reiterating the importance of respecting wildlife and adhering to established safety protocols. While this incident marks the first reported case of a visitor injured by a bison this year, it serves as a reminder of the inherent risks associated with interactions between humans and wildlife in natural environments.

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