Man who allegedly kicked bison in Yellowstone park arrested for incident | National parks

A man who allegedly harassed bison at Yellowstone national park by kicking one of the animals was injured in return and arrested in the first such encounter at the famed site this year.

Officials said on Monday that police received a report about a man kicking a bison in the leg and being injured by one of the animals about seven miles from the park’s entrance, near Seven Mile Bridge, on 21 April.

It is not uncommon for tourists who get too close to the wild animals to be hurt. Park officials have reported injuries each year at the national park, which is hugely popular with tourists.

The last such case involving a bison was in July 2023, when a 47-year-old Arizona woman was gored during mating season after she turned to walk away. In 2022, a woman who approached a bison near the Old Faithful geyser was tossed 10ft into the air and was gored.

The man’s injuries from 21 April were not described. Upon being notified of the most recent case, police said they arrested Clarence Yoder, 40, in the town of Yellowstone, Montana.

Yoder, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, was charged with disorderly conduct, approaching wildlife, disturbing wildlife and being intoxicated “to a degree that may endanger oneself”, police said.

A companion who was allegedly driving Yoder, 37-year-old McKenna Bass, also of Idaho Falls, was arrested on counts of drunk-driving, failure to yield and disturbing wildlife.

Both men subsequently pleaded not guilty in court.

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National Park Service officials said visitors to Yellowstone should stay at least 25 yards (23 meters) away from all large animals, including bison, elk, bighorn sheep, moose and coyotes.

Tourists should be even more cautious around bears and wolves, with officials advising visitors to maintain a distance of at least 100 yards (91 meters) from those creatures in particular.

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