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Bison calf euthanized after tourists put it in an SUV at Yellows - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Bison calf euthanized after tourists put it in an SUV at Yellowstone National Park

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Tourists put bison calf in vehicle at Yellowstone National Park Tourists put bison calf in vehicle at Yellowstone National Park
A man attempts to touch a Yellowstone Bison (Ed Rader, Wyohighcountry) A man attempts to touch a Yellowstone Bison (Ed Rader, Wyohighcountry)

In recent weeks, visitors in Yellowstone National Park park have been engaging in inappropriate, dangerous, and illegal behavior with wildlife. 

Park officials said in a press release on Monday that these actions endanger people and have now resulted in the death of a newborn bison calf.

Last week, visitors were cited for placing a newborn bison calf in their vehicle and driving it to a park facility because of their misplaced concern for the animal's welfare.  The tourists - reportedly from another country - were ticketed.

In terms of human safety, this was a dangerous activity because adult animals are very protective of their young and will act aggressively to defend them. In addition, interference by people can cause mothers to reject their offspring. 

In this case, park rangers tried repeatedly to reunite the newborn bison calf with the herd, but their efforts failed, and the bison calf was later euthanized because it was abandoned and causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the road.

In a recent viral video, a visitor approached within an arm's length of an adult bison in the Old Faithful area. Another video featured visitors posing for pictures with bison at extremely unsafe and illegal distances. 

Last year, five visitors were seriously injured when they approached bison too closely. Bison injure more visitors to Yellowstone than any other animal.

Approaching wild animals can drastically affect their well-being and, in this case, their survival. Park regulations require that you stay at least 25 yards away from all wildlife (including bison, elk and deer) and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves.  

Disregarding these regulations can result in fines, injury, and even death. The safety of these animals, as well as human safety, depends on everyone using good judgment and following these simple rules.


UPDATE: Official at Yellowstone National Park have released the following information:

In order to ship the calf out of the park, it would have had to go through months of quarantine to be monitored for brucellosis. No approved quarantine facilities exist at this time, and we don't have the capacity to care for a calf that's too young to forage on its own. Nor is it the mission of the National Park Service to rescue animals: our goal is to maintain the ecological processes of Yellowstone. Even though humans were involved in this case, it is not uncommon for bison, especially young mothers, to lose or abandon their calves. Those animals typically die of starvation or predation.

Click here to read more.


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(MAY 14, 2016) Tourists once again have some people scratching their heads after another bison encounter in Yellowstone National Park.

East Idaho News reported that some tourists put a bison calf in their car because they were worried the critter was cold.

A father and son pulled up at the ranger station with the bison calf in their SUV.

They sincerely thought they were doing a service and helping that calf by trying to save it from the cold, the report said.

The tourists from another country were ticketed by law enforcement rangers; the rangers then followed them back to where they picked up the calf and made sure it was released.

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