Tourist Interference Leads To Dead Bison Calf In Yellowstone

May 16, 2016

A Yellowstone National Park bison calf that tourists put in their car last week is now dead. Park officials are warning visitors to follow local wildlife and park safety regulations. They say too many people aren’t, and it’s causing big problems.

The actions of two well-meaning, but misguided Yellowstone tourists led to the death of a newborn bison calf last week.

The pair were ticketed for placing the animal in their car and taking it to a park facility. They reportedly thought the animal looked cold and uncomfortable.

Park officials say that in doing so, they not only endangered themselves but doomed the calf. That’s because human interference can cause mothers to reject their offspring. That’s exactly what happened in this case. Despite park rangers’ best attempts to reintroduce the calf to its herd, it was rejected and repeatedly approached people and cars. That’s why park officials euthanized the animal.

At least two viral videos have made the rounds this year showing park visitors getting dangerously close to adult bison. Last year, bison seriously injured five visitors who got too close.

Park regulations require people stay at least 25 yards from all wildlife including bison, elk and deer and at least 100 yards from wolves and bears. Disregarding those simple rules can lead to to fines, serious injury or death.