Since February 7th of this year, about 450 wild buffalo have been captured in Yellowstone National Park’s Stephens Creek bison trap. 318 of them were shipped off to slaughter or research facilities. More than 270 bison have been killed by state or treaty hunters outside Yellowstone’s boundary in Montana. This bison slaughter happens annually, but this year, one brave activist took a stand to bring it to a halt, and it worked.
Comfrey Jacobs handcuffed himself to mesh webbing and a bright orange 55-gallon barrel filled with concrete across the entry road to the park. His goal was to block access to the road that leads to the bison trap to prevent the continued slaughter of the bison. His self-blockade prevented slaughtering operations for two hours.
Jacobs was charged with disorderly conduct, breaking a closure, and interfering with a government operation. The day following his direct action, amid a whirlwind of media coverage, Yellowstone announced that the bison trap was empty and they had no plans to capture anymore bison this season.
“My action raised enough public awareness that Yellowstone announced a cease to their operations the following day,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs was offered a plea bargain that would have given him unsupervised probation for 5 years, a five-year ban from Yellowstone National Park, and a $1,000 restitution, if he plead guilty. Jacobs turned down the offer and is seeking further legal counsel. His continued arraignment is set for April 2nd. If Jacobs chooses a trial, he’ll be tried by a judge and not a jury of his peers.
“I have no regrets,” said Jacobs. “I accept all the consequences of my actions and hope it raises awareness on this issue.”
“Comfrey Jacobs is a hero,” said Bison Field Campaign’s Executive Director, Dan Brister. “His actions speak for thousands of people who are upset by the slaughter of America’s last wild buffalo.”
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