The Strange Reason Visitors Were Fined For Cooking Chickens In Yellowstone

In a relatable move for some, three men took in the wonder of nature in a national park and immediately thought about their next meal. In this case, the Yellowstone National Park visitors couldn't wait to put their food plans into action and attempted to boil two chickens in a Shoshone Geyser Basin hot spring, landing one man with a court appearance and probation, and fines for two others (via East Idaho News and Food & Wine).

The men from Idaho Falls were part of a group of ten that a Yellowstone park ranger busted after watching them hike toward the natural geysers with cooking pots in hand, according to East Idaho News. By the time the ranger arrived, he saw that they had already put two whole chickens in a burlap sack, attempting to cook them in a hot spring (via East Idaho News). Unfortunately, this didn't fly with park officials, who deal with injuries from thermal features too often to put up with this group's foolishness.

Why you shouldn't cook a chicken in Yellowstone

One of Yellowstone's many attractions are the hydrothermal features that result from ground water being superheated and then expelled through the earths' surface, often in hot springs and elsewhere in geysers, which actually shoot the water into the air (via National Park Service). According to the National Park Service, the water in these areas can get to "near-boiling temperatures" — in fact, a news show host and producer got in trouble for almost the same crime after he dug a hole to demonstrate how natural heat could cook a chicken and the show was fined for "disturbing mineral deposits in a national park and stepping off trails," according to the Montana Standard.

But since there's no rule specifically banning a free-form chicken cookout at one of our country's national treasures (via National Park Service), the parks service had to get the impromptu chefs on something else — in this case, "foot traffic in a thermal area" (via East Idaho News and Food & Wine). The man charged with violating closures and use limits was fined $600 for each charge, is on two-year probation, and is — perhaps worst of all — banned from Yellowstone Park, reports East Idaho News.