Man Flying Drone Hit with Thousands in Fines After Causing Elk Stampede
David Smart is a Washington DC resident who was in Wyoming’s National Park Refuge checking out the 25,000 acre sanctuary. Smart released his drone and started flying it over the large elk herd in order to film the animals. The drone spooked the herd and caused an estimated 1,500 elk to stampede for half a mile. The resident was apologetic, but the Manager of the Elk Refuge said that they take wildlife harassment very seriously and this winter has been very hard on the animals. Refuge officials have many regulations to protect the elk and they even put out alfalfa pellets and other food out during harsh winters to help the elk and bison to survive during life threatening conditions. Smart has been charged with federal crime of disturbing wildlife, punishable by a $5,000 fine along with a $280 ticket he already received.
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