Yellowstone tourist kicks bison in its leg before it turns and injures him, rangers say

A Yellowstone National Park visitor was left injured while harassing a bison herd, park rangers said.

The 40-year-old park tourist from Idaho Falls, Idaho, was injured by a bison on April 21, according to an April 29 news release by the National Park Service.

The man had “harassed a herd of bison and kicked a bison in the leg,” officials said.

Park rangers found the man’s car near the park’s west entrance and stopped it in West Yellowstone, Montana, officials said.

The man was arrested and charged with being under the influence to a degree that may endanger oneself, disorderly conduct, approaching wildlife and disturbing wildlife, officials said.

The man suffered minor injuries from the bison encounter and was treated at a hospital before being sent to the Gallatin County Detention Center, rangers said.

The 37-year-old driver of the car was also arrested and charged with driving under the influence and disturbing wildlife, officials said.

Both individuals were scheduled to appear in court on April 22, officials said. Each of the violations may result in fines up to $5,000 and six months in jail.

This marks the first reported injury of a visitor by a bison in 2024, rangers said.

The investigation remains ongoing, rangers said.

In 2023, a bison gored a 47-year-old woman visiting Yellowstone from Arizona, leaving her with severe injuries to her chest and stomach, McClatchy News reported.

“Bison have injured more people in Yellowstone than any other animal,” park rangers said. “They are unpredictable and can run three times faster than humans.”

Bison are huge animals that can weigh 2,000 pounds and run 30 mph, according to the park. Stay at least 75 feet away from bison at all times.

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