It is our duty to respect wild animals. Besides the fact that all species are citizens of the same ecosystem, many creatures could pose a serious threat to us. Humans are far from the biggest and baddest organisms on the food chain.
When one foolish man provoked an innocent animal in Yellowstone National Park, he ruined dozens of visitors’ experiences and put his own life in danger. But these things have a way of evening themselves out. His retribution came down swiftly and satisfactorily…
It’s no secret that Yellowstone National Park is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Most visitors respect its majesty and take care not to disrupt the park, but there are always a few troublemakers who seem intent on ruining the experience for everybody.
Yellowstone is home to many rare and endangered species, including the American bison — also known as a buffalo. These noble beasts have the privilege to live freely within the grounds of the park. Generally, they keep their distance from humans.
Wikimedia Commons / Jack Dykinga
Yellowstone maintains strict rules that prohibit people from interfering with wildlife. Most visitors aren’t even legally allowed to go within 25 feet of these animals. To a large extent, these rules shield the bison from those who would do them harm.
Before 1800, there were approximately 60 million bison roaming the country. Extreme overhunting and the expansion of railroads eliminated most of the population. Today, there are only 500,000 remaining in the United States.
But Yellowstone also put these rules in place to protect visitors. Male bison can weigh up to a ton and run at a speed of 35 miles per hour. They also happen to have horns! Basically, while buffalo are naturally peaceful, these are not the animals you want to tick off.
It’s too bad that Raymond Reinke of Pendleton, Oregon didn’t understand that fact. When he came to Yellowstone in the summer of 2018, he not only made a fool of himself, he took his life in his hands…
Duluth News Tribune
Raymond was partway through a solo trek in multiple National Parks, and he packed quite a bit of alcohol to help him enjoy the scenery. Unfortunately for everyone, Raymond was not the sort of guy who could hold his liquor.
Days earlier, he received a citation for intoxication and disorderly conduct at Grand Teton. After a quick visit to the drunk tank, Raymond regained his freedom on a $500 bond. But he hadn’t learned his lesson…
Over in Yellowstone, Raymond was drunkenly ambling along a trail when he spied a curious sight. A huge bison blocked a nearby road, and traffic piled up as drivers waited for the way to clear. That’s when Raymond had an idea.
Flickr / EvinDC
Though the animal was not threatening anyone, Raymond ran over and got right up in its face. He taunted the beast and flailed his arms around like a moron. Several drivers pulled out their phones to record the ridiculous scene.
Then Raymond nearly got his comeuppance! The bison charged at him headfirst, not unlike a bull rushes at a matador. Luckily, the buffalo didn’t want to harm Raymond, just scare him off, so it didn’t follow through.
Flickr / Pete S.
Raymond dashed around in circles like a headless chicken as the buffalo chased him off the road. Spectators stuck their heads out the window to hurl well-deserved insults at Raymond as he ran off into the treeline.
Facebook / Lindsey Harrison
Within hours, the video of Raymond’s antics went viral. Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk was completely unaware of the incident until he saw the footage on his computer, but he knew he had to take immediate action to protect the park.
By that time, Raymond was nowhere to be seen on Yellowstone grounds, so Dan and his rangers put out a warrant for his arrest. But with their target on the move, would they ever be able to catch him?
Well, Raymond did authorities a huge favor by giving away his location. Police took him into custody when he caused a disturbance at a restaurant near Glacier National Park. With nowhere to run, Raymond was about to get a taste of Yellowstone justice.
Judge Mark Carman of Yellowstone has the distinction of being one of the few justices in the nation responsible for overseeing a National Park. As a man who takes his duty very seriously, he knew he had to make an example out of Raymond Reinke.
When Raymond appeared in court, Mark reminded him that behavior like this wasn’t acceptable, and he was one lucky dude. ‘You’re lucky the bison didn’t take care of [you]’ he said, ‘and you’re standing in front of me.’
To make up for his dangerous and irresponsible behavior across three National Parks, Raymond got a sentence of 130 days in jail. Hopefully his prison has a good library where he can read about why you shouldn’t provoke wild animals.
And with one less jerk out and about, America’s endangered species can rest easy and hopefully rebuild their dwindling numbers. With all they have been through over the past 200 years, bison at the very least deserve our respect.
Flickr / Norman Rawn
Another silver lining is that the viral video taught us all that it is a very bad idea to mess with bison. You can see the full video below, and you also might want to grab some popcorn for this one.
Meanwhile in Yellowstone National Park…#email@example.com
Posted by Lindsey Jones on Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Raymond will definitely think twice before he ever messes with another wild animal.
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