Yellowstone Ranger Busts Man Cooking Chickens in Hot Spring

Park officials say the Idaho visitor has been banned for 2 years
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2020 7:30 AM CST
Man Busted for Cooking Chickens in Unusual Place
Stock photo of the Abyss Pool hot spring in Yellowstone National Park, sans chicken.   (Getty Images/Daphne Zheng)

Although the pandemic limited many activities over the summer, at least people could partake in quiet outdoor activities, like having small, socially distanced barbecues. An Idaho man, however, has been barred from Yellowstone National Park after he picked the wrong place for his cookout. A park spokeswoman tells East Idaho News that a park ranger received word on Aug. 7 that a group was trekking toward the Shoshone Geyser Basin, and that they had cooking pots with them. The ranger found not only the group of 10, which included at least one child, but also two whole chickens crammed into a burlap sack getting heated up in a hot spring, a cooking pot sitting nearby.

An un-IDed man from Idaho Falls and two others received citations for foot travel in a thermal area. The Idaho man pleaded guilty in September to the citation, as well as to another charge involving a violation of park closures and usage. For his culinary blunder, the man was hit with a $600 fine for each charge, as well as two years of unsupervised probation, during which time he isn't allowed back at Yellowstone, with or without chickens. It's not clear what happened to the two others who were cited with him. People notes the park's website warns visitors that the hot springs there have "injured or killed more people in Yellowstone than any other natural feature" and that visitors should "stay on boardwalks and trails in thermal areas" and keep kids close by and not let them run around. (More weird crimes stories.)

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