The National Park Service has announced that Yellowstone National Park rangers euthanized a newborn bison calf after a visitor touched the animal in an attempt to assist it in rejoining its herd.
Unfortunately, the herd rejected the calf in spite of sustained efforts by park rangers to reunite the baby bison with its herd.
Contact with human beings can cause a herd to reject its offspring.
“As the calf struggled, the man pushed the calf up from the river and onto the roadway,” park authorities said. The newborn bison was later spotted on the road around vehicles and visitors.
The calf had to be put down as its abandonment by the herd caused it to stray into the roads and into the way of approaching vehicles and people, which could cause a “hazardous situation”, the park said.
The incident is currently under investigation by the NPS, and they are urging the public to come forward with any pertinent information by contacting a designated tip line.
In a news release, the park authorities said, “Approaching wild animals can drastically affect their well-being and, in this case, their survival.”
“People are required to stay at least 25 yards (23m) away from all wildlife, and 100 yards away from bears and wolves.”
“The safety of these animals, as well as human safety, depends on everyone using good judgment and following these simple rules.”
Yellowstone National Park law enforcement is currently seeking any relevant information from the public on the incident.