Man arrested for allegedly kicking bison in the leg at Yellowstone National Park while intoxicated

The incident is believed to be the first reported injury to a visitor by a bison this year

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — A 40-year-old Idaho man is facing multiple charges after he approached a bison too closely in Yellowstone National Park.

The incident occurred on April 21 at the West Entrance Road near the Seven Mile Bridge, seven miles east of Yellowstone National Park’s West Entrance, according to a statement from the National Park Service.

Clarence Yoder of Idaho Falls, Idaho, approached a bison too closely, within 25 yards, and was subsequently injured by the bison. Park rangers then received a report of a man who had harassed a herd of bison and kicked one of them in the leg.

Yoder’s vehicle was located in West Yellowstone, Montana, and he was arrested and charged with being under the influence of alcohol to a degree that may endanger oneself, disorderly conduct as to create or maintain a hazardous condition, approaching wildlife and disturbing wildlife.

The driver of the vehicle, McKenna Bass, 37, of Idaho Falls, was also arrested and cited for driving under the influence, interference for failure to yield to emergency light activation and disturbing wildlife.

Each violation could result in fines up to $5,000 and six months in jail.

Yoder was taken to the hospital with minor injuries where he was treated and released from medical care. He was then taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center.

Both Yoder and Bass appeared in court on April 22 and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The incident is believed to be the first reported injury to a Yellowstone National Park visitor by bison in 2024. The last reported incident took place on July 17, 2023, when a 47-year-old Phoenix woman was gored by a bison. There was one reported incident in 2023 and three in 2022.

The National Park Service is reminding visitors to respect safety regulations and view wildlife from a safe distance.

“Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park are wild and can be dangerous when approached. When an animal is near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot or in a developed area, give it space,” said a statement from the National Park Service. “Stay more than 25 yards (23 m) away from all large animals – bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes – and at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves.”

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