Yellowstone Tourist Roars at Bison Before Getting Attacked

Being a respectful visitor who's mindful of flora and fauna is an essential part of visiting our national parks. But not everyone who gets out in nature knows how to leave everything as you found it.

A video shared on Instagram by Tourons of Yellowstone showed what happened when a tourist decided to go face-to-face with a massive bison at Yellowstone National Park. Cars on the road were stopped both ways as the man stood just a few feet away from the animal while someone in a car filmed the interaction, which originally occurred back in 2018.

At first, the man spread his arms wide to seemingly invite the bison to come closer to him. It quickly scurried closer and the man moved out of the way. Then, he looked back at the bison, opened his arms wide, and roared at the animal. Not one to back down from a challenge, the bison charged toward the man head-on. The person filming didn't capture what happened next, but the man seemingly was unscathed as he was still walking a few feet away seconds later.

Bystanders were confused as to why he'd decide to pick a fight with such an intimidating wild animal in its natural habitat. Some urged him to get back in his car and derided him for doing something so stupid. People on Instagram tended to agree.

"I think I prefer that the drunk guy got gored by the bison rather than getting arrested. That would make this a more interesting and newsworthy incident," one person commented.

"[I] was really hoping for a good flip in the air and a bloody crash landing," another said.

"I’m rooting for the bison. He has evolution on his side," another chimed in.

The man was identified back in 2018 as 55-year-old Raymond Reinke of Pendleton, Oregon. It wasn't his first offense in a national park; he had recently spent the night in jail after being arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct during a visit to Grand Teton National Park, according to The Associated Press.

After he was released, he headed to Yellowstone, where a ranger stopped him for a traffic violation and reported that he was drunk and combative, ultimately letting him off with a seat belt violation citation. It's believed that the confrontation with the bison happened shortly thereafter. He was later identified in another state after causing a disturbance at a hotel outside Glacier National Park.

According to The Oregonian, the man copped to the fact that he was inebriated during these interactions. He told a judge that he and his friend were on a "last hurrah" tour through national parks before he entered treatment for alcohol abuse.

Reinke was sentenced to 60 days in jail for harassing wildlife for the Yellowstone bison incident, plus another 60 days for interfering with law enforcement and 10 days for disorderly conduct. He was also banned from Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks for a five-year probationary period where he was not allowed to drink alcohol.

In the courtroom, he extended his remorse to the animal he crossed. "I'm sorry to the buffalo. He didn't deserve what I did to him," he said, per ABC Fox Montana.

The lesson to be learned here is to not even risk something so dangerous next time you're in a national park, whether you're sober or not.