Dramatic cellphone video that went viral last week showed a man apparently taunting a bison at Yellowstone National Park. The bison was clearly not amused and charged at the man, who has since been arrested.
Yellowstone officials say the man's actions were "reckless, dangerous, and illegal."
Raymond Reinke, age 55, from Pendleton, Oregon was apprehended by Glacier National Park rangers on August 2.
Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk 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.”
Reinke had been traveling to multiple national parks over the last week, according to authorities. On July 28, he was first arrested by law enforcement rangers at Grand Teton National Park on a charge of drunk and disorderly conduct. He spent the night in the Teton County Jail, and was then released on bond, officials said.
Following his release, he traveled to Yellowstone National Park. Rangers at Yellowstone said they stopped his vehicle for a traffic violation on July 31. Reinke appeared to be intoxicated and was argumentative, according to authorities. He was cited as a passenger for failure to wear a seat belt, police said. Officials said they believe that after that traffic stop, Reinke encountered the bison.
Yellowstone rangers said they received several wildlife harassment reports from concerned visitors and found Reinke later that evening, issuing a citation requiring a court appearance. The video of the event surfaced after that citation had been issued.
On Thursday, August 2, Yellowstone rangers said they 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, officials said.
Reinke had told rangers that his plans were to travel to Glacier National Park. On August 2, Glacier National Park rangers began looking for Reinke's vehicle. Simultaneous with that search, rangers responded to the Many Glacier Hotel because two guests were arguing and creating a disturbance in the hotel dining room, authorities said. Rangers identified one of the individuals involved as Reinke.
Glacier rangers said they transported Reinke to Helena where they met Yellowstone rangers. Yellowstone rangers transported Reinke to Mammoth Hot Springs and booked him into the Yellowstone Jail and was scheduled for a court appearance.