Law enforcement rangers in Grand Teton National Park are seeking information regarding an illegal operation of a drone apparently photographing grizzly bears in the park at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 23.
Numerous visitors were near Oxbow Bend in the northern area of the park viewing the bears when a large drone approached and hovered over the animals. Park personnel in the area were unable to locate the drone or the operator. Anyone with any information that may help in the investigation regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the park at 307-739-3301.
Drones are prohibited in units of the National Park Service, including Grand Teton National Park. The launching, landing or operating an unmanned aircraft, such as a drone, model airplane, or quadcopter, within the park is prohibited. Drone use has the potential to cause unacceptable impacts such as harming visitors, interfering with rescue or fire management operations, causing excessive noise, impacting view sheds, and disturbing wildlife.
Anyone illegally operating an unmanned aircraft in the park may be issued a mandatory court appearance with the maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $5000 fine.