Man Seen Taunting Bison in Viral Video Arrested for Harassment

A man who was filmed taunting a bison before it charged at him in a video which recently went viral has been arrested.

Raymond Reinke, 55, from Pendleton, Oregon, was wanted by authorities after he was filmed harassing the bison at the Yellowstone National Park on July 31.

Reinke is accused of being the man seen captured on film waving his arms at the bull bison while it was crossing the road.

The bison then charges at the man, with a woman in the video heard saying in an apparent reference to the animal: “Now he’s gonna be mad.”

Authorities said the incident involving the bison was the third crime Reinke had committed while he had been been traveling to multiple national parks over the previous week.

On July 28, he was arrested by law enforcement rangers at Grand Teton National Park for being drunk and disorderly conduct and spent the night in the Teton County Jail.

Upon his release, he drove to Yellowstone National Park, where rangers stopped his vehicle for a traffic violation on July 31.

GettyImages-948842356 Bison are seen crossing a ridge on the golf course during the first round of the PGA TOUR Champions Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf held at Buffalo Ridge Golf Club on April 19, 2018 in Hollister, Missouri. A man seen in a widely circulated video provoking a Yellowstone National Park bison has been arrested. Michael Cohen/Getty Images

Reinke appeared to be intoxicated and argumentative and was cited for failure to wear a seatbelt. It is believed that after this traffic stop, Reinke went on the harass the bison.

After a warrant for his arrest was issued, officers were called to reports of two guests arguing and creating a disturbance at the dining room at the Many Glacier Hotel. Reinke was indentified as one of the individuals involved in the argument and taken into custody.

The suspect told police his plans were to travel on to Glacier National Park.

 “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 has since appeared at a federal court in Wyoming to face the misdemeanor charge.

Yellowstone spokeswoman Morgan Warthin condemned the viral video and said bison, like other wild animals, are best viewed from afar. “The fact that visitors are so passionate about Yellowstone and the animals is extraordinary,” Warthin told Reuters.

“Yet we ask them to keep their distance to safeguard themselves and safeguard the remarkable landscape with hundreds of thousands of free-roaming animals.”

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