Man Banned From Yellowstone National Park After Rangers Catch Him Cooking Chickens in the Hot Springs

The visitor from Idaho also faces hefty fines.

With the privilege of visiting national parks comes the great responsibility of following the rules that protect their natural beauty. After allegedly trying to cook chickens in a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park, one Idaho man is learning the hard way that flouting these rules comes with pricey consequences.

On Sept. 10, two years after the offense, the Idaho man pled guilty to multiple charges, including foot travel in a thermal area and violating closures and use limits, East Idaho News first reported.

According to Newsweek, three suspects were cited in the Aug. 7 incident after a ranger received a report that a group of 10, including a child, were hiking towards the Shoshone Geyser Basin with cooking pots. They were found with two chickens in a sack, placed inside a hot spring.

Close Up Of The Terraces, Mammoth Hot Spring
Martina Birnbaum/EyeEm via Getty

The Idaho Falls suspect, who was not mentioned by name, will serve two years of unsupervised probation and will also be banned from visiting Yellowstone during this time. Additionally, the court ordered him to pay fines of $600 per charge, Newsweek reports.

Yellowstone has the biggest concentration of active geysers in the world and boasts over 10,000 thermal features. The park is filled with boardwalks and trails that allow guests to admire this natural phenomenon. It is against park rules to travel outside of these designated areas or to place anything into thermal features. These measures are in place for the safety of visitors as water in the hot springs can cause fatal burns.

According to Yellowstone officials, more than 20 people have died from burns suffered after they entered or fell into hot springs. Warning signs are clearly posted throughout the park, giving visitors no excuse for breaking the rules and risking their lives. However, with more than four million visitors per year, it's no surprise that some may stray off the path — literally and figuratively.

Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but always on the lookout for the next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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