3 men banned from Yellowstone after trying to cook chicken in geyser

The group was found with two whole chickens in a burlap sack in one of the park's scalding-hot thermal features.
United States. Wyoming. Yellowstone National Park. Grand Prismatic Spring
All three men involved in the plot were banned from Yellowstone National Park for the next two years.Marka / Universal Images Group via Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Three men have been temporarily banned from Yellowstone National Park after being caught attempting to cook a chicken in one of the park's famous geysers.

The incident took place on Aug. 7, according to a spokesperson for the national park. A ranger received reports of a group "hiking with cooking pots" towards Shoshane Geyser Basin. When a ranger found the group, it was discovered that the group had two whole chickens in a burlap sack in a hot spring. A cooking pot was also found nearby.

Three men in the group were charged and pled guilty to charges on Sept. 10.

Eric and Dallas Roberts were ordered to serve two days in jail and pay $540 in fines and fees, according to the Associated Press. The third man, Eric Romriell, 49, paid $1,250 in fines and fees.

All three men are banned from Yellowstone National Park for the next two years while they serve two years of unsupervised probation.

When asked what they were doing in the park, Eric Roberts, 51, reportedly told a ranger that they were trying to "make dinner."

Yellowstone National Park is home to hundreds of geysers and about 10,000 "thermal features." The Shoshane Geyser Basin contains several geysers and small springs, with the water temperature for the various features ranging from 180 to 196 F, according to the national park's website.

"Water in hot springs can cause severe or fatal burns, and scalding water underlies most of the thin, breakable crust around hot springs," said the park in a statement provided to TODAY Food.

It is illegal to touch thermal features or throw objects into hot springs or other hydrothermal features in the park. Yellowstone National Park requests that visitors always stay on boardwalks and designated trails, and food is not allowed in geothermal areas. Visitors to the park have been burned by the scalding water, including a three-year-old who fell into a hot spring in October.

When asked whose idea it was to try to cook dinner in the spring, Eric Roberts said that it was a group decision, according to the Associated Press.

"It was kind of a joint thing," he explained.

Samantha Kubota contributed.