Yellowstone forced to put down bison calf tourists ‘rescued for being cold’

Yellowstone National Park has euthanised a newborn bison that was loaded into a vehicle by tourists who thought it was cold. The National Park Service said the calf had to be put down because it was rejected by its herd after officials returned it to the spot where the visitors had picked it up. A father and son, who were from another country, had pulled up at the ranger station with the animal in the back of their vehicle. The Park Service said in a statement the tourists had acted out of “misplaced concern for the animal’s welfare”.

In terms of human safety, this was a dangerous activity because adult animals are very protective of their young and will act aggressively to defend them.

Park Service statement

“They were demanding to speak with a ranger,” witness Karen Richardson told "They were seriously worried that the calf was freezing and dying.“ The Park Service said they decided to put down the calf because it was causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching cars and tourists along the road. "In this case, park rangers tried repeatedly to reunite the newborn bison calf with the herd. These efforts failed,” it said.