GREAT FALLS – Raymond Reinke has been arrested in connection with a now-viral video that shows him taunting a bison in Yellowstone National Park.
A press release from Yellowstone on Friday says that Reinke was arrested on Thursday at about 10:45 p.m. by Glacier National Park rangers.
Reinke, 55 years old, is from Pendleton, Oregon. Glacier rangers took Reinke to Helena, where they met Yellowstone rangers. Yellowstone rangers then took Reinke to Mammoth Hot Springs and booked him into the Yellowstone Jail. He is scheduled to make his court appearance on Friday afternoon.
According to the press release, Reinke has been traveling to national parks over the last week.
On July 28, he was arrested by law enforcement rangers at Grand Teton National Park for a drunk and disorderly conduct incident. He spent the night in the Teton County Jail, and was then released on bond.
He then went to Yellowstone National Park, where rangers stopped his vehicle for a traffic violation on July 31. Reinke appeared to be intoxicated and argumentative. He was cited as a passenger for failure to wear a seat belt. It is believed that after that traffic stop, Reinke encountered the bison.
Yellowstone rangers 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 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.
Reinke had told rangers that his plans were to travel to Glacier National Park. On Thursday night, Glacier National Park rangers began looking for his 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. Rangers identified one of the individuals involved as Reinke.
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.”
Reporting by David Sherman for MTN News