Man Arrested After Yellowstone Bison-Taunting Video Goes Viral

Playing Bison Walks Away After Tourist Taunts Animal at Yellowstone National Park

Police have identified a man they say is the Yellowstone National Park visitor seen in recent viral video taunting a bison.

Officials said in a statement Friday that Glacier National Park rangers apprehended 55-year-old Raymond Reinke in a Montana motel room.

"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," Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk said.

Reinke had been traveling to multiple national parks over the last week. On July 28, he was first 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. 

Following his release, authorities say he traveled to Yellowstone National Park. Rangers at Yellowstone stopped his vehicle for a traffic violation on July 31. Reinke appeared to be intoxicated and argumentative, according to the statement.

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. 

The man escaped serious injury in his now famous encounter only because the bison made the decision to walk away.

“I was definitely worried for him!” Lindsey Jones, who shot video of the encounter, told Inside Edition. "I was truly nervous that he was going to throw him in the air several feet. I was really scared for the guy, I thought it could've ended really bad."

Bison can weigh over 2,000 pounds. 

Bison can be aggressive when defending their turf. The National Parks Service called the incident "reckless, dangerous and illegal."

Park officials say there have been at least four injuries at Yellowstone involving animals this year, including a woman who was gored by a bison in June.

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