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Tourist Error Costs Baby Bison Its Life

The baby bison stands in the back of a tourists' truck after they thought it was too cold. Their error cost the bison its life.

The baby bison stands in the back of a tourists' truck after they thought it was too cold. Their error cost the bison its life.

This is What’s Trending Today….

A wild baby bison at Yellowstone National Park had to be killed because of park visitors, according to the National Park Service.

The visitors, who were from another country, reportedly were concerned that the baby bison looked cold. They put the animal in their car and drove to a park ranger station.

A photograph of the bison calf in the back of the car went viral on social media.

Park officials described the tourists’ action as a “dangerous move” because adult bison can be very protective. Adult bison will attack to defend their young. Park rangers took the animal from the car and set it free.

But, sadly, the baby was rejected by its herd because of the human contact.

Yellowstone National Park explained on Facebook that, “interference by people can cause mothers to reject their offspring.” It also said that the rejected calf would cause “a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway.”

Park officials said they repeatedly tried to reunite the baby bison with the herd. After several failed efforts, officials said they had no choice but to euthanize the calf.

Many people on social media expressed anger at both the tourists and the National Park Service.

Reacting to the many angry comments on Facebook, Yellowstone officials said that they did not have the ability to care for a young calf. They also said that it is “not the mission of the National Park Service to rescue animals.”

The tourists were fined $110 for touching park wildlife. Park rules require that visitors to Yellowstone stay at least 22 meters away from all wildlife, and at least 90 meters away from bears and wolves.

One official said that Yellowstone recently added many safety signs that say approaching wildlife is dangerous to both humans and the animals. Those signs are written in English and other languages.

And that’s What’s Trending Today…

I’m Jonathan Evans.


Words in This Story

euthanize – v. to humanely kill someone or something who is very sick or injured in order to prevent any more suffering

herd – n. a group of animals that live or are kept together​

interference - n. involvement in the activities when your involvement is not wanted​

offspring – n. the young of an animal or plant​

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