Earlier this week, a pair of Yellowstone tourists were caught with a red dog in their SUV—but not for the reason you would assume.
According to East Idaho News, Victor, ID resident Karen Richardson was chaperoning her son and his fellow classmates on a field trip to Yellowstone. As the group was in class at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch, a father and son duo pulled up to the Ranch in an SUV, with a bison calf (or red dog) in tow.
As it turns out, these would-be smugglers weren’t looking to make a clean getaway: they thought they were saving the calf’s life. From East Idaho News:
“They were demanding to speak with a ranger,” Richardson tells EastIdahoNews.com. “They were seriously worried that the calf was freezing and dying.”
Rob Heusevelet, a father of a student, told the men to remove the bison from their car and warned they could be in trouble for having the animal.
“They didn’t care,” Heusevelet says. “They sincerely thought they were doing a service and helping that calf by trying to save it from the cold.”
Law enforcement rangers were called and the father-and-son tourists, who were from another country, were ticketed.
Heusevelet says the rangers followed the pair back to where they had picked up the bison, and the animal was released.
Although the incident occurred earlier this week, Mrs. Richardson did not share the news until Friday, in a Facebook post featuring the picture shown above. The message? “Dear Tourists: the Bison calf is not cold and it is not lost. PUT IT BACK!”
This is not the first bison related incident this year that’s happened when a tourist has gotten too close to the wildlife. This father and son should consider themselves lucky that red dog didn’t panic; they should also consider themselves lucky mama bison didn’t chase down their car.
Yellowstone wildlife policy states visitors should stay a minimum of 25 yards away from bison and other wildlife such as elk and deer. Visitors should put at least 100 yards between themselves and animals such as wolves and bears.
As of writing, the Park has not commented on the incident.