Two men have been cited for harassing bison via motorcycle in Yellowstone.
If you have ever visited Yellowstone National Park, you know full well that many of the visitors to the park are not, shall we say, knowledgeable on how to act around dangerous wildlife. Never is that more obvious than in this video of men riding motorcycles among a herd of bison shot on September 11 near Fountain Flats Drive inside the park.
Video of the situation instantly went viral after it was posted to a Facebook group dedicated to documenting unlawful tourist activities within the park's boundaries. Most posts show people walking off trail or getting too close to wildlife. The bison video attracted a bit more attention than the group's usual posts.
You can view the videos of the incident below.
In the videos, it sounds like several people are yelling at the riders to get out of the field and away from the animals. The calls are seemingly ignored as tourist cameras roll. At one point, the person taking the video walks behind the bikes and gets clear shots of the license plates.
Park regulations require visitors to stay 25 yards away from bison and elk because both animals can become aggressive and attack without warning.
Park regulations also prohibit off-road travel like what is shown in the video. According to the Daily Chronicle, the charges are for harassment of wildlife and for operating a motor vehicle in a prohibited area. They also report a yet-to-be scheduled court hearing on the incident is expected a little later this year.
Yellowstone routinely sees tourist incidents of this nature. The park was closed due to public health concerns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year. The first incident of the year happened before the park even officially opened, after a woman entered the park illegally in May and fell into a hot spring.
At least two other bison incidents have also happened in 2020. In July a woman was chased and nearly run down by one near Nez Perce Creek. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports another woman was gored after getting too close to a bison back in June near Bridge Bay Campground.
We will keep an eye on this story as it progresses and will bring you any updates on the charges as they become available.