MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. – The Oregon man seen in a viral video taunting a bison in Yellowstone National Park has been sentenced to 130 days in jail by a federal judge in Wyoming.
Raymond Reinke, 55, pleaded guilty to several charges related to the early August incident, when he was captured on video posted on Facebook appearing to taunt a bison on a road in Hayden Valley.
He had initially pleaded not guilty to all charges on August 8, but changed his plea Thursday before Judge Mark Carman in Yellowstone District Court in Wyoming.
Reinke was arrested in Glacier National Park on August 2 on multiple charges, including threatening or resisting a government employee.
Reinke, who is from Pendleton, Ore. was first arrested on July 28 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. Authorities believe 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 August 2, Yellowstone rangers connected Reinke’s extensive history, and seeing the egregious nature of the wildlife violation, an assistant U.S. attorney for Wyoming 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, which is where rangers found him after being called 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.
Reporting by Samantha Harrelson for MTN News
(August 2, 2018) Yellowstone National Park has responded to the video that shows a man taunting a bison, and narrowly escaping getting gored or trampled.
The video was posted by Lindsey Jones; it was taken taken in Hayden Valley in Yellowstone on Tuesday evening (July 31).
The video shows a man in the road taunting a bison; at one point, the bison begins to charge at the person, who quickly dodges out of the way.
On Thursday, Yellowstone National Park posted the following message on Facebook:
Many people have asked if we’ve seen the viral video in which an individual is seen hazing a bison in Yellowstone.
We’ve seen it, and rangers are actively investigating the incident. Superintendent Dan Wenk had this to say after watching the video:
“The individual’s behavior in this video is reckless, dangerous, and illegal. We need people to be stewards of Yellowstone, and one way to do that is to keep your distance from wildlife. Park regulations require people to stay at least 25 yards from animals like bison and elk, and 100 yards from bears and wolves. These distances safeguard both visitors and the remarkable experience of sharing a landscape with thousands of freely-roaming animals. People who ignore these rules are risking their lives and threatening the park experience for everyone else.”
Another way to be a steward: tell a ranger, or call 911, if you see someone whose behavior might hurt them or the park. Thanks to all of you who’ve shared your concern.