Yellowstone & Grand Teton Searching for Several Wildlife Harassers
Written by Andrew-Rossi on June 8, 2023
The experience of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks has been forever changed by the influence and perversity of social media. While many may lament these changes, one benefit is that social media allows visitors to capture egregious incidents in the parks – and nearly always leads to the identification and punishment of the perpetrators.
Both of Wyoming’s national parks are investigating separate incidents of wildlife harassment, hoping that people may help find and report the perpetrators through their images posted on platforms like Instagram.
On Sunday, June 4, at approximately 1 p.m., two individuals were seen approaching and touching a bison calf at the southern end of Elk Ranch Flats in Grand Teton National Park.
Interference by people can cause wildlife to reject their offspring. In this case, fortunately, the calf was successfully reunited with its herd, but often these interactions result in euthanizing the animal – which was the result of the May 20 incident with a bison calf in Yellowstone National Park.
The incident is currently under investigation, and the park is asking anyone in the Elk Ranch Flats area on the afternoon of June 4 who witnessed and might have information that could assist in the investigation – or can identify the individuals pictured – to call the Grand Teton Tip Line.
At the same time, Yellowstone officials are looking for a man who’s filmed himself charging at black bears. The videos – posted on the Instagram account Tourons of Yellowstone – show two different incidents. The individual spots a bear near the road jumps out of his vehicle, and charges at the bear while doing what can only be described as “barking” while his accomplice films – and laughs.
Once this genius is identified, he faces a fine of up to $5,000 and six months in jail for disturbing wildlife, illegally approaching wildlife, and disorderly conduct creating or maintaining a hazardous condition – all misdemeanors.
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These incidents can be added to a growing list of incidents in Yellowstone and Grand Teton in Summer 2023. Unfortunately, many of these incidents have resulted in the death of wildlife involved.
Anyone who witnesses harassment of wildlife happening in the parks can call the Grand Teton National Park Tip Line at 307-739-3367 or the Yellowstone National Park Tip Line at 307-344-2132 or YELL_Tip@nps.gov to report the incidents.
Calls can also be sent to the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 307-739-3301.