Posted on: November 17, 2020 at 10:08 pm

One man is serving two years of probation for cooking chickens at Yellowstone National Park.

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Officials caught the man, along with a few others, violating several of the park’s rules. They are now banned from entering the park for the next two years.

Cooking Chickens at Yellowstone National Park

On August 7, 2020, a park ranger got word of a group of ten people, including a child, who were headed towards the Shoshone Geyser Basin with cooking pots. When park authorities found them, they had two chickens in a sack, which they had placed in the hot spring.

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The main suspect was Eric Roberts from Idaho Falls. The court gave him a twelve hundred dollar fine after he pleaded guilty to a variety of charges. These charges included foot travel in a thermal area, and violating closures and use limits [1].

When the courts asked Roberts what the group was up to, he responded saying “make dinner”. As for whose idea it was, he explained that it was “kind of a joint thing” [2].

The courts also fined two other men, Eric Romriell and Dallas Roberts. They both had to pay 540 dollars each. All three men will be serving two years of probation without supervision, during which they cannot enter the park.’

Related: Yellowstone’s Giantess Geyser erupts for first time in 6 years, roars ‘back to life’

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Violations at Yellowstone

People cooking chickens at Yellowstone National Park is not a regular occurrence. Unfortunately, park violations happen much more often than they should.

In 2014, a Dutch man had to pay a three thousand dollar fine for crashing a drone into the park’s Grand Prismatic Spring. A week prior to that, a judge ordered a German man to pay over 1600 dollars in fines for crashing a drone into Yellowstone Lake [3].

While many of these incidents sound fairly harmless, there is one good reason for the park’s strict rules: safety.

Yellowstone National Park has the biggest concentration of active geysers in the world. The park contains over ten thousand thermal features. The water in these hot springs can cause fatal burns, and they are surrounded by a thin, breakable crust. If you get too close, you risk falling through [1].

Geysers: Beautiful but Dangerous

According to park officials, more than twenty people have died from burns after entering or falling into a hot spring. For this reason, it is against park rules to travel off boardwalks or designated trails inside hydrothermal areas. It is also prohibited to place anything in the hot springs [1].

That, of course, means cooking chickens at Yellowstone is off-limits.

In June 2016, 23-year-old Colin Scott died when he fell into a hot spring near Porkchop Geyser. He had illegally left the boardwalk with his sister. The day before that, a thirteen-year-old boy went to the hospital with burns on his ankle and foot after his father slipped near Old Faithful. The pair had also left the designated trail.

Earlier this year in October, a three-year-old suffered second-degree burns after falling into a small thermal feature. Park officials say this is the second incident that has happened this year. In May, a visitor illegally entered the park and fell into a thermal feature while backing up to take photos [1].

These are just a few examples of why getting close to any of the thermal features at the park can be highly dangerous. It is no wonder then why cooking chickens at Yellowstone National Park can land you in hot water- quite literally.

Keep Reading: 30 Photos Of Things You’ll Be Glad You Haven’t Seen Before

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Brittany Hambleton
Team Writer
Brittany is a freelance writer and editor with a Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition and a writer’s certificate from the University of Western Ontario. She enjoyed a stint as a personal trainer and is an avid runner. Brittany loves to combine running and traveling, and has run numerous races across North America and Europe. She also loves chocolate more than anything else… the darker, the better!