Officials are seeking the operator of a drone allegedly witnessed photographing grizzly bears in Grand Teton National Park earlier this week.
According to Local News 8, the drone was witnessed around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 23, flying over bears near Oxbow Bend. Numerous visitors reported the incident to Grand Teton law enforcement.
Drones are illegal in all national parks, since they can distract visitors and pose unique dangers to features and resources within national parks.
Indeed, many Yellowstone visitors and residents were outraged when a drone crashed into Grand Prismatic Spring in August 2014. The news came a few months after we reported the NPS would likely ban drones within national parks. In 2014, three people eventually plead guilty to operating drones in the park, which resulted in fines and restitution payments.
According to Local 8 News, anyone caught operating a drone in Grand Teton National Park must make “a mandatory court appearance with the maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $5000 fine.”
If you have any information on the Grand Teton drone pilot, please contact the park at 307-739-3301.