After a short investigation, Yellowstone officials have determined a top Wyoming Highway Patrol leader did not violate Park rules with his bison photo.
We previously reported WY Highway Patrol Major Keith Groeneweg had landed in hot water for a photo of him posted to social media, depicting him apparently mere feet away from a resting bison.
Groeneweg’s caption read: “Yellowstone signs everywhere: ‘Stay 100 yards from animals. They can be dangerous.’ Keith’s translation: ‘Time to sneak up and hug a buffalo! #YNP #ILoveWyoming.” You can see the photo below, which Groeneweg made his profile picture on social media.
Visitors must keep at least 25 yards away from all wildlife in Yellowstone National Park—with the exception of wolves and bears; visitors must keep at least 100 yards away from them—to prevent injuries to both parties.
Groeneweg maintained he was never less than 25 yards from the bison bull, and that there was a ravine between him and the bull.
According to the Casper Star Tribune, Park rangers have verified Groeneweg’s story: “Major Groeneweg fully cooperated with the Park Rangers throughout the investigation and the National Park Service has advised the investigation has been closed with no further action,” Highway Patrol Colonel Kebin Haller said in an emailed statement Tuesday.