Yellowstone visitor that taunted bison arrested, officials say

An Oregon man was arrested Thursday night after getting caught on video earlier this week “harassing a bison” in Yellowstone National Park, officials announced.

Raymond Reinke, 55, who was journeying across multiple U.S. parks throughout the week, was taken into custody by Glacier National Park officials, a news release from Yellowstone officials said.

“We appreciate the collaboration of our fellow rangers in Glacier and Grand Teton national parks on this arrest. Harassing wildlife is illegal in any national park,” Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk said.

Since late July, Reinke was arrested multiple times, officials noted in the release. On July 28, law enforcement rangers at Grand Teton National Park took Reinke into custody “for a drunk and disorderly conduct incident,” after which he was booked in jail overnight.

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On July 31, Reinke made his way to Yellowstone where rangers pulled him over and found that he “appeared to be intoxicated and argumentative,” officials said. It was after this encounter, in which Reinke was given a citation, that officials said they believe the bison confrontation occurred.

An onlooker captured the moment on video, seemingly showing Reinke approach a bison in the middle of the road. The animal initially walked away from him as he approached. But soon after, the bison turned around and ran toward Reinke, who skittered away. The animal soon retreated in the opposite direction.

“Yellowstone rangers received several wildlife harassment reports from concerned visitors and found Reinke later that evening, issuing a citation requiring a court appearance,” the news release said. “The video of the event surfaced after that citation had been issued.

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“On Thursday, August 2, Yellowstone rangers connected Reinke’s extensive history, and seeing the egregious nature of the wildlife violation, the Assistant U.S. Attorney requested his bond be revoked. The request was granted and on the night of August 2, a warrant was issued for Reinke’s arrest,” the release continued.

While a search ensued for Reinke’s vehicle, Glacier National Park rangers were called to a hotel due to two guests “arguing and creating a disturbance in the hotel dining room,” one of whom was found to be Reinke, officials said.

Reinke has since been booked into Yellowstone Jail.