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Unruly tourist gets arrested for allegedly kicking bison at Yellowstone: '[Intoxicated] to a degree that may endanger oneself'

"Remember – you're the visitor in the place that wildlife call home!"

"Remember – you're the visitor in the place that wildlife call home!"

Photo Credit: iStock

In Yellowstone National Park, an intoxicated man was reported to police on April 21 for allegedly kicking a bison, which then injured the man in return.

According to an article posted by the Guardian, the suspect, Clarence Yoder, 40, was arrested by police following reports of him kicking a bison in the leg near Seven Mile Bridge. Yoder was arrested on numerous charges, including disturbing wildlife and being intoxicated "to a degree that may endanger oneself," police said.

Yoder's companion, McKenna Bass, 37, was also arrested on charges of drunk driving, failure to yield, and disturbing wildlife.

Unfortunately, instances like this are not uncommon in Yellowstone and other national parks. National Park Service officials advise visitors at Yellowstone to remain at least 25 yards away from large wildlife at all times, and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves. Many national parks have a recommended distance that tourists should keep between themselves and wildlife.

Having respect for nature is where climate awareness begins, and a respect for wildlife is imperative for animals' safety and the safety of humans. Animals that feel threatened may respond by injuring the people behaving inappropriately and, in the case of Yoder, harassing them. Sadly, animals that injure people, provoked or not, are sometimes then euthanized.

Tourons (a term combining the words "tourist" and "moron") also ruin an otherwise pleasant experience for everyone else. People who disregard the needs of wildlife for their own amusement create a stressful situation for onlookers, the animals involved, and the park rangers who have the important job of protecting the ecosystem. 

A visit to a beautiful national park like Yellowstone can help people have a better understanding of our natural world and instill a desire to protect it. It should never be seen as an opportunity to abuse the nature around us.

The National Park Foundation advises, "Remember – you're the visitor in the place that wildlife call home!"

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