Despite personally approaching park employees in an attempt to retrieve the drone, the tourist was let go and the incident was not immediately reported. In June, the National Park Service banned flying drones in all parks and water tied into the U.S. park system.
"I don't think the person [the tourist] spoke with realized that drones couldn't be flown in the park or the implications of what they were being told," Yellowstone National Park spokesperson Amy Bartlett told CNN.
The drone is still in 160-degree hot spring, creating a challenge for park rangers tasked with preserving America's natural resources.
"Assuming we can locate the device, we have to determine whether we can remove it without creating any damage," park spokesman Al Nash explained to NBC News.
"The whole incident remains under investigation."