NBC News reported Saturday that an Oregon man, Raymond Reinke, was caught harassing a bison on video in Yellowstone National Park and was subsequently arrested in Glacier National Park.
According to officials, rangers found Reinke causing a scene at the Many Glacier Hotel Thursday night, his third disturbance this week. Reinke is currently imprisoned and awaiting trial.
The 55-year-old Oregon resident was arrested just last Saturday in Grand Teton National Park for being drunk and disorderly and was released on bail a day later on the condition that he pay a $500 fine, abide by the law, and stay away from alcohol. Three days later, Reinke was cited again for not wearing a seatbelt while driving. The Yellowstone ranger who pulled him over also said that Reinke looked inebriated.
Later on, Reine was caught harassing a bison in Yellowstone National Park. Another tourist recorded the encounter. The video reportedly shows Reinke “walking up to a bison in a roadway congested with stopped cars and waving his arms. The animal charges him a couple of times, but Reinke doesn’t appear to get hurt.”
The woman recording the incident can also be heard saying, “Now he’s going to be mad,” referring to the bison.
Rangers always advise tourists visiting Yellowstone to stand at least 25 away from any bison because they “are unpredictable and can run three times faster than humans.” Bison are also extremely heavy, weighing anywhere between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds depending on gender.
According to Yellowstone National Park’s website, bison are a frequent park sighting. By August 2017, there were a total of 4,816 bison in Yellowstone alone. The website also states that “Bison have injured more people in Yellowstone than any other animal.”
The tourist who recorded Reinke’s encounter with the bison uploaded the video online, which quickly went viral, receiving national attention.
After Yellowstone rangers viewed the video and became aware of Reinke’s citations, his bond was immediately revoked and a warrant was put out for his arrest.
Having previously told park rangers that he was planning on visiting Glacier National Park, they set out to find him and his car but received reports shortly afterwards that Reinke was causing a scene and creating another disturbance at the historic Many Glacier Hotel.
Dan Wenk, the Yellowstone National Park Superintendent, issued a statement after Reinke’s final arrest, thanking the various park rangers for their cooperation. “We appreciate the collaboration of our fellow rangers in Glacier and Grand Teton national parks on this arrest,” Wenk said. “Harassing wildlife is illegal in any national park.”