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Idaho Falls man kicks Yellowstone bison and goes to jail, say park officials

David Restivo, NPS Photo
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — An Idaho Falls man got drunk, kicked a bison, got hurt and went to jail, Yellowstone Park officials said.
Clarence Yoder, 40, approached a bison too closely on the afternoon April 21 on the West Entrance Road near the Seven Mile Bridge, 7 miles east of the park’s West Entrance, according to a news release from the park.
Rangers responded after they got a report of someone harassing a herd of bison and kicking one of the animals in the leg. They found Yoder’s vehicle near the West Entrance and stopped it in West Yellowstone, Montana.
Yoder was charged with 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 and disturbing wildlife.
The driver of the vehicle was 37-year-old McKenna Bass, also of Idaho Falls, who was arrested and cited on charges of driving under the influence, interference for failure to yield to emergency light activation and disturbing wildlife.
Park officials said Yoder’s injuries were minor. No further details were given.
He was treated at a nearby medical facility and taken to Gallatin County Detention Center in Bozeman, Montana.
Yoder and Bass appeared in court on April 22 and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Each violation can result in fines up to $5,000 and six months in jail.
This is the first reported incident of a visitor being injured by a bison in 2024, according to the news release. The last reported incident occurred on July 17, 2023. There was one reported incident in 2023 and three in 2022.
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A caution to visitors from Yellowstone National Park
Visitors, it’s your responsibility to respect safety regulations and view wildlife from a safe distance.
Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park are wild and can be dangerous when approached. When an animal is near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot or in a developed area, give it space. Stay more than 25 yards (23 meters) away from all large animals – bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes – and at least 100 yards (91 meters) away from bears and wolves. If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity.
Read more about safety in the park, including how to behave around wildlife. The safety of these animals, as well as human safety, depends on everyone using good judgment and following these simple rules.
Protect the park today and for future generations by taking the Yellowstone Pledge!

The post Idaho Falls man kicks Yellowstone bison and goes to jail, say park officials appeared first on East Idaho News.

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