CASPER, Wyo. — A high-ranking official with the Wyoming Highway Patrol is under investigation for posing for a photo near a bison at Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone National Park officials are investigating Highway Patrol Major Keith Groeneweg after he posted a photo on Facebook that looks like he is violating park rules that people must stay at least 25 yards from wildlife, The Casper Star-Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/2djbaNh).
In the photo Groeneweg can be seen near a bison. The caption of the photo reads, “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.”
Groeneweg says he was observing the rule and that the photo appears closer than he actually was.
Pete Webster, Yellowstone’s chief ranger, said a handful of people shared pictures of Groeneweg’s Facebook post with park officials.
“I did call and spoke with him,” Webster said. “He was apologetic. He said the photo was purposely distorted to appear a lot closer than he was, and he was beyond our prescribed distance of 25 yards.”
Wyoming Highway Patrol Col. Kebin Haller said Groeneweg has been forthcoming about the Yellowstone investigation and that he is cooperating with the park. He said law enforcement officers are held to high standards in their personal lives.
“I would have to say as individuals and professionals, we are always accountable for our actions and behaviors,” Haller said.
The investigation comes after a busy summer at Yellowstone where park officials have had an increasing number of visitors get too close to wildlife.
Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com