In March Pierce Brosnan resolved that little misunderstanding he had with Yellowstone National Park. You remember, the “recollections may vary” moment where he originally pleaded Not Guilty to trespassing on a protected thermal spring area, despite photographic evidence to the contrary, so then he finally apologized, pleaded Guilty, and paid a fine? Well for this month’s installment of Shenanigans Going Down at Yellowstone National Park, I present to you Clarence Yoder and McKenna Bass of Idaho Falls, Idaho. While on an inebriated perusal of the park where Bass was behind the wheel of their car, Yoder exited the vehicle to interact with the wildlife. And by “interact with,” I mean he kicked one bison and further harassed a whole herd before he was stopped by his own injuries and the rangers stepping in. I call this episode, FAFO: Cattle Edition.

An Idaho man has been arrested on an alcohol-related crime and other related charges after he was accused of kicking a bison at Yellowstone National Park.

The man, 40-year-old Clarence Yoder of Idaho Falls, approached a bison within 25 yards on April 21 and was injured after he “harassed a herd of bison” and kicked an animal in the leg, according to a statement from the park.

The incident occurred on the West Entrance Road near the Seven Mile Bridge, 7 miles east of Yellowstone’s West Entrance. Rangers found Yoder and the vehicle’s driver, McKenna Bass, 37, also of Idaho Falls, near the West Entrance and stopped them in the town of West Yellowstone, Montana.

Yoder was hurt in the bison encounter, the park said, and was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, where he was evaluated, treated and released before being taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center.

He was arrested and is charged with being under the influence of alcohol to a degree that may endanger oneself, disorderly conduct as to create or maintain a hazardous condition, approaching wildlife and disturbing wildlife, the park said in a statement.

Bass was also arrested and charged with driving under the influence, interference for failure to yield to emergency light activation, and disturbing wildlife.

Yoder and Bass appeared in court April 22 and pleaded not guilty. According to Yellowstone, each violation can result in fines of up to $5,000 and six months in jail.

The incident remains under investigation, Yellowstone said.

The incident was the first report of a visitor injured by bison this year, Yellowstone said. The last reported incident was July 17, 2023 the only incident reported last year. Three incidents that caused injuries were reported in 2022.

[From USA Today]

I’m with the bison! For beef’s sake, we’ve decimated the species to practically nothing; leave them alone on their designated grounds! Yellowstone in particular is the only place in the US where bison have continuously lived since prehistoric times. You don’t assault and harass someone in their own home! Yes, I watched all four hours of the Ken Burns documentary, and my heart wept for how we’ve treated the shaggy, humpbacked beasts. I’m generally not a vindictive person, but I hope Yoder & Bass each get the full fines and sentences. They were a danger to themselves, the animals, and other humans they could’ve encountered. As a side note, is it me or do the names of these miscreants fit well with their roles in this story? Something about the cadence of McKenna Bass & Clarence Yoder is reminding me of Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow. Only instead of robbing banks, this duo were robbing bison of some peace and quiet! Good grief, between this and puppy/goat-killer Governor Kristi Noem, it really has been an abysmal week in animal news.

This isn’t the man in the story:

Header image credit Ralph on Pexels. Other images via Instagram/Tourons of Yellowstone