Saturday, May 7 2016 12:16 PM EDT2016-05-07 16:16:24 GMT
Every year, several people are injured by getting too close to bison in Yellowstone National Park.
Last year, five people were gored by bison, and four of them had to be airlifted for treatment of their injuries.
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.
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.