Monday, August 06, 2018

Yellowstone Visitor Arrested After Taunting Bison

If you're looking for what not to do in America's national park, here's a hint: don't mess with the wildlife. A visitor to Yellowstone found this out recently when he allegedly taunted a massive bison, narrowly escaping potential bodily harm when the creature charged him. Later, the man was arrested after he had already moved on to Glacier National Park, after he had already been cited for other charges while visiting Grand Teton. In other words, over the span of a couple of days he was able to go on a tour of dumb ideas that crossed three different national parks.

Park authorities caught up with 55-year old Raymond Reinke in Glacier late last week after a viral video of him taunting the bison spread across the Internet. In the clip, which you can watch below, cars are backed up on a road as the large animal wanders along the route. This is a common sight in Yellowstone and visitors just need to be patient and wait for them to cross. At one point however, a man who was later identified as Reinke, gets out of his car and acts aggressively towards the bison, getting within just a few feet. The creature lunges towards him a couple of times, but fortunately he walked away in one piece.

After reviewing the video, park rangers were able to identify Reinke and determine that he had left Yellowstone and had moved on to Glacier National Park instead. They caught up with him there and arrested him for harassing wildlife, a serious offense in any of the parks. Worse yet, Reinke had violated safety rules that indicate visitors should say 100 yards (91 meters) away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards (22 meters) from all other wildlife. In the clip below, he's just a few meters away at most.

Unfortunately for Reinke, this wasn't his only offense. Only July 28, he was arrested in Grand Teton for drunk and disorderly conduct. When he moved on to Yellowstone, he was also pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt and rangers now say they suspect he may have been intoxicated then as well. The incident with the bison reportedly happened later.

When all of this information was reviewed by a judge, and the video of the run-in with the bison went public, the decision was made to arrested Reinke once again. Over the weekend he was being held without bail while determining what to do with him next.

I say, put him back in front of the bison.

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