Just the word stirs up a buzz. Whether it be one of the most popular shows on television in recent memory, or the second most visited National Park in the nation, something about Yellowstone just gets the people going.
Almost 4-million people visit Yellowstone each year. Most of them behave themselves, enjoy the experience, and don’t make headlines for doing anything really dumb.
Some of them however, can’t help but commit acts of stupidity that result in their arrest and/or embarrassment and they wind up making the news.
And lately, even with the park at a lower capacity, the morons still abound.
Here is a list of 10 of the dumbest people to ever walk into Yellowstone National park
We’re not necessarily making fun of these people, but we are laughing at them. Hopefully they learned from these experiences and don’t make headlines again for being an idiot.
1 – Baby Bison Euthanized After Being Placed In Trunk Of Car.
In 2016, footage of a bison calf strapped into the trunk of a car in Yellowstone National Park went viral. The two tourists who picked up the baby buffalo were reportedly worried the animal was cold and needed to be rescued from the elements. This despite the fact that the temperatures for that day ranged between 39 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit, relatively temperate for Yellowstone.
After loading the bison into their trunk, the two drove it to a nearby ranger station. Their actions were widely ridiculed online as textbook examples of extreme anthropomorphism and stupidity.
Their stupidity would be even more funny if not for the fact that the bison calf had to sadly be euthanized due to their stupidity.
“Park rangers tried repeatedly to reunite the newborn bison calf with the herd. These efforts failed.
The bison calf was later euthanized because it was abandoned and causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway.”
2 – Three Men Banned From Yellowstone For Trying To Cook Chicken In Thermal Geyser.
So this might actually also qualify as the smartest thing anyone has ever tried to do in a National Park. But I guess since the Park Service punished them, we’ll count it as one of the dumbest.
In August of 2020, three men visited Yellowstone National Park and attempted to fry some chicken in a thermal geyser. A park ranger was alerted to a group with cooking pots in a tourist area, and it was discovered that the group had two whole chickens marinating in a burlap sack they had thrown into a boiling hot spring.
Yellowstone is home to hundreds of thermal features and geysers, with average water temperatures ranging from 180 – 196 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s hot enough to kill people, and to boil chicken.
Eric and Dallas Roberts were reportedly ordered to serve two days in jail and pay $540 in fines and fees for their part in the incident. The third man, Eric Romriell, 49, paid $1,250 in fines and fees.
The men were also apparently banned from Yellowstone for two years.
3 – Kayaker Goes On Drunken Rampage.
On June 21st, Kyle Campbell and some buddies visited Yellowstone for a kayaking trip at the Grant Marina. However, the boys got a little too trashed, as the guides told them they were too drunk to take part in the paddling.
Apparently, being too drunk to kayak didn’t sit well with them and one man in particular caused a huge scene, so much so that the guides had to alert security, according to WANE 15.
After a few “threatening comments and gestures” towards officers, on top of being visibly intoxicated, refusing to obey officers, kicking rangers, resisting arrest, and injuring himself by headbutting a patrol car, he earned himself a one way trip to jail.
The man pleaded guilty to a number of criminal charges including: Disorderly conduct, Threatening, Resisting, Intentionally interfering with a government employee, Violating the lawful order of a government employee, Being under the influence of alcohol and controlled substance to a degree that may endanger oneself or others, and Contempt of court for refusing to comply with Magistrate Judge Carmen’s warrant to collect a blood sample.
Campbell was sentenced to 60 days in prison, five-year term of unsupervised probation, faced a five year ban from Yellowstone, while also ordered to pay $1,550 and a $50 special assessment fee.
4 – Drunk Man In Short Shorts Taunts Bison, Gets Charged.
With enough liquid courage, people can feel invincible enough to do anything – including tussle with 2,000-pound bull bison.
In 2018, an Oregon man was sentenced to 130 days in jail for drunkenly harassing a bison that had stopped traffic on a Yellowstone National Park roadway.
Raymond Reinke reportedly justified his drunken behavior by stating that he and a buddy were on a road trip to celebrate “one last hurrah” before he entered an alcohol treatment program.
After his 15 minutes of fame from the viral video was up, he was sentenced to 60 days in jail for harassing wildlife, 60 days for interfering with law enforcement and 10 days for disorderly conduct. He was given credit for 21 days served.
He was also banned from Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier national parks for a five-year probationary period during which he is not allowed to drink alcohol.
Reinke reportedly told the judge”
“I’m sorry to the buffalo. He didn’t deserve what I did to him.”
The judge replied:
“You’re lucky the bison didn’t take care of it, and you’re standing in front of me.”
5 – Bison Tosses 9-Year-Old Girl Into The Air.
In July of 2019, a huge bull bison was minding its own business and grazing on a hillside in Yellowstone National Park when a group of about 50 tourists got too close for comfort.
According to reports, multiple members of the group repeatedly ventured within 5 to 10 feet of the grazing bull over about a 20 minute timespan. Finally, the bull was bothered enough to do something about it and it charged the group.
Unfortunately the buffalo took his frustrations out on a 9-year-old girl who was flung into the air on camera. She was taken to a nearby lodge with minor injuries and subsequently sent on her way.
6 – Idiot Tourist Approaches Mother Grizzly And Her Cubs.
Earlier this year, an idiot tourist casually approached arguably the deadliest animal in North America and it almost went horribly wrong.
The Yellowstone visitor casually strolled right up to a mother grizzly bear and her cubs hoping to snap a picture. She was promptly bluff charged by the angry mama bear, who came within just steps of absolutely destroying this lady’s vacation.
While she narrowly escaped trouble with the bear, she’s now in trouble with the Park Service who issued a statement indicating the lady’s conduct was being investigated.
She ultimately received a few days in jail, a fine and a ban.
7 – Man Pees Into Old Faithful Geyser, Sticks Head In Spout.
In September of 2018, a Colorado directly onto the grounds surrounding Old Faithful and leaned dangerously close to the famed geysers spout, even sticking his head over the geyser while it was temporarily inactive. Had the geyser discharged, it would have been the end for 27-year-old Gabriel Villalva, consider the geyser spews 200 degree boiling water.
He also reportedly peed into the cone of the geyser.
He was also non-compliant while being arrested in the parking lot. While officers tried to speak with him, he responded by singing loudly and smoking cigarettes until he was threatened with being tased.
Additional video footage showed the man kicking off his shoes and dipping his feet into Beryl Spring, one of Yellowstone’s hottest hot springs.
8 – Woman Wants Bison Selfie
Despite countless warning signs and viral videos of people getting wrecked by bison at Yellowstone, a lot of people still seem to be desperate for an up close bison selfie.
The lady in this video is incredibly lucky that she didn’t get gored by the bison, as she put herself directly in harms way.
She gets up to the animal and starts to take selfies and that’s when things start to go wrong. The bison charges her and you can sense the fear through the video. She side steps him and gets clear but then falls to the ground in the chase.
She stands up and realizes the bison is no longer charging, so instead of making way for safer ground, she pulls her cellphone back out to get a few more quick pictures.
You can’t fix stupid…
9 – Tourists Start Bison Stampede.
In October of 2020, a group of tourists approached a group of bison that grew more and more agitated by their presence. Ultimately, the tourists wound up stirring the bison into a stampede that came dangerously close to trampling nearby fishermen.
Onlookers yelled at the tourists, encouraging them to get away from the bison but it was no use. Had the stampede ran towards the people, or towards the fishermen then things would have gotten ugly.
Witnesses to the event shared the story with USA Today.
“You only see about four-to-six people on the video, but there were more in the same spot the bison come running from.
The fishermen grabbed their stuff and ran, and then you see the bison running, and I felt relief the people didn’t get trampled.
Then all the sudden you see the bison appear between the fishermen and tourists, then they turn and run toward the tourists. I was scared for a second, but the second wave of stampeding bison turned again and ran across the river to join the herd on the other side.
Thank goodness nobody was hurt, and I hope they all learned a lesson. It reaffirmed the awesome power of such beautiful creatures in my eyes.”
10 – Tourists Approach Bear On John Dutton’s Land.
Okay, so this is one from the Yellowstone TV show, but after seeing the actions of all these dumb tourists its easy to envision a situation like this unfolding in real time.
Except tourists approaching grizzly bears in real life won’t be so lucky as to have someone like John Dutton step in to protect not only his land, but the safety of the tourists who seem to think that grizzly bears are friendly animals.