Yellowstone National Park has released new information regarding the bison calf picked up by a pair of tourists last week. Unfortunately, the incident did not end well.
Last week, a father-and-son duo picked up a bison calf and brought it to the Lamar Buffalo Ranch, asking to speak with a ranger. They said they were concerned the animal would freeze to death. Rangers later ticketed the pair and took the bison into custody, hoping to release it back into the herd.
Unfortunately, efforts to reintroduce the calf into the herd failed repeatedly. It also kept repeatedly approaching vehicles along the roadway. The bison calf was later euthanized by Park officials.
The Park is using this as an opportunity to remind visitors to keep their distance from wildlife, both for their own safety and (especially) for the safety of the animals.
“In recent weeks, visitors in the park have been engaging in inappropriate, dangerous, and illegal behavior with wildlife. These actions endanger people and have now resulted in the death of a newborn bison calf,” spokesperson Morgan Warthin said in a press release.
The release refers to a video shot a few weeks ago depicting a visitor petting a lounging bison in the Old Faithful area. Police later reported the visitor in question was under investigation. It also refers to the five goring incidents that occurred last year, when visitors (knowingly or otherwise) strayed too close to bison.
Visitors are reminded to stay at least 25 yards away from wildlife such as bison, elk, and deer. Further, they are reminded to stay 100 yards away from animals like bears and wolves. Visitors who disregard these regulations could face fines, injury, and possibly death.
It’s also possible for the animals to be injured and even killed—just like that bison calf.