Baby Bison Euthanized After 'Help' from Tourists
A bison put in a car by tourists because it looked like it was cold had to be put down, officials at Yellowstone National Park said.
A bison put in a car by tourists because it looked like it was cold had to be put down, officials at Yellowstone National Park said on Monday.
The tourists loaded the animal into their trunk last week and drove it to a ranger station after taking a photograph that prompted a backlash on social media.
The newborn had to be euthanized because its mother had rejected it as a result of "interference by people," officials said.
"In this case, park rangers tried repeatedly to reunite the newborn bison calf with the herd. These efforts failed," the park said in a statement on its website.
"The bison calf was later euthanized because it was abandoned and causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway."
The park berated visitors for taking selfies and recording video near the bison, flouting regulations demanding people stay at least 25 yards (23 meters) away.
"In a recent viral video, a visitor approached within an arm's length of an adult bison in the Old Faithful area," it said of the park's famous geyser. "Another video featured visitors posing for pictures with bison at extremely unsafe and illegal distances."
Five visitors were seriously injured last year after approaching bison too closely, the park said.
In the latest incident, a father and son transported the bison calf in their Toyota Sequoia to a ranger station in the park's northeast corner, a witness told the online East Idaho News.
"They were demanding to speak with a ranger. They were seriously worried that the calf was freezing and dying," said Karen Richardson, one of several parents chaperoning a group of fifth-graders on a field trip.
The website quoted another parent who told the tourists to remove the bison from their car, warning they could be in trouble.
"They didn't care," he said. "They sincerely thought they were doing a service and helping that calf by trying to save it from the cold."
Critics shared the picture of the calf in the car on Twitter, scolding the "dumbass," "stupid" and "idiotic" tourists.
Yellowstone is the only place in the United States where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times.
The park is home to 4,900 of the animals, which it says injure more people than any of its other animals.
London-based designer Jonathan Hey took a cross-country road trip that led to a photo shoot at Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic Springs with the park's iconic bison. Above, sunlight appears between two clouds on Yellowstone Lake. Get the full story in a
Yellowstone is the oldest national park in the country, visited by 3 1/2 million people a year. "When we arrived at the site," Hey said, "we could see, sort of in the mist, these dark shapes."
"You follow the boardwalk and I remember that we saw these shadows and started heading toward them. Yet you had this joint feeling ... this is really exciting and these are bison and bison are
"As we got closer to them ... I started to try to take some photos," from a safe distance, Hey said.
"There was a constant battle," Hey recalled. "There was the spring putting up steam all the time and my wife and I, my wife was there with like a lens cloth wiping the front of the lens as I would take a few and then it would steam up. "And then of course, right in the middle of it, our lens froze and so we missed about 30 seconds as I was frantically trying to fix this thing and these bison are walking across the spring. But despite all that, we did manage to get a picture of this incredible moment."