Over the weekend, we reported that a bison calf was snatched up by a pair of ill-informed tourists in Yellowstone National Park. The father and son duo grabbed the calf and placed it in the trunk of their car, expressing concern for its safety early last week.
After driving the calf to a ranger station inside the park and demanding that someone look after the animal, park rangers promptly cited the two and attempted to return the young bison to the herd.
Over the days following the incident, park officials were unsuccessful in returning the calf to the herd as it had been abandoned by its mother and fellow bison. This is a common occurrence in the animal kingdom after human intervention.
Rangers also reported that the calf, now comfortable with humans, was spotted approaching humans and vehicles, posing a threat to itself and to visitors to the park. As a result of the careless and misplaced concern for the well-being of the animal, the calf has since been euthanized by park officials.
Bison are one of Yellowstone’s most dangerous residents, causing bodily harm to more humans than any other animal in the ecosystem. Despite this, growing numbers of tourists continue to get uncomfortably close to the majestic animals. Last year alone resulted in five serious injuries to humans inflicted by bison. Of these five incidents, three of them were the result of individuals getting too close for photographs of or with the mammals.