Yellowstone bison calf put down after 'stupid' tourists tried to rescue it from cold
A bison calf in Yellowstone National Park has been put down after tourists who thought it was cold put it in their car, causing the animal's mother to reject the calf when it returned to the herd.
Park wardens condemned the stupidity of the tourists involved after they loaded the animal into the back of their vehicle.
A spokesman said: "They received an initial ticket for $110 but they could face further charges."
They refused to disclose the nationality of the pair because an investigation is continuing.
SAD UPDATE: Bison placed in tourists vehicle has been euthanized after herd rejects it. https://t.co/VPSZ1Flh0C— Nate Eaton (@NateNewsNow) May 16, 2016
Karen Richardson, a park visitor who was at a ranger station when the tourists pulled up with the calf, told East Idaho News: "They wanted to talk to the rangers. They insisted the animal was freezing cold and dying. Crazy stuff happens in Yellowstone all the time and this is just one example that park rangers have to deal with."
The bison was recently made America's national mammal and is adept at surviving the cold.
There are more than 3,000 of them in Yellowstone and tourists are supposed to stay more than 25 yards away from them.
On May 9, when the incident happened, the temperature varied between 39F and 50F.
Rob Heusevelet, another park visitor, said he warned the tourists they didn't need to "rescue" the calf.
He said: "They didn’t care. They sincerely thought they were doing a service and helping that calf by trying to save it from the cold."
Park rangers later tried repeatedly to reunite the calf with its herd but in vain.
A frustrated park spokesman said its death was caused by the "misplaced concern" of the tourists.
They said: "Interference by people can cause mothers to reject their offspring. The calf was euthanised because it was abandoned and causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway.
"In recent weeks visitors in the park have been engaging in inappropriate, dangerous, and illegal behavior with wildlife. These actions endanger people and have now resulted in the death of a newborn bison calf."