A story of tourists visiting Yellowstone National Park went viral over the weekend after they put a small bison calf in their car because they thought it was cold. The Park Service announced today that the calf is now dead.
EastIdahoNews.com reports that visitors to the famous 3,500-sq.-mile wilderness have been engaging in unseemly, risky, and illegal behavior with the park’s wildlife. While the misplaced concern for the animal’s well-being was intended to help, wild animals are not all friendly to humans. Adults can be especially protective of their young and attack those they feel are a threat.
Park rangers worked to re-introduce the calf back into the herd but the efforts failed and the herd abandoned the calf along a roadway. The calf ultimately had to be euthanized.
In the video that has gone viral, the two tourists approached the calf and took selfies with it before putting it in their rental car.
Yellowstone National Park has released a statement urging tourists to stay away from the wildlife. “Approaching wild animals can drastically affect their well-being and, in this case, their survival,” Yellowstone cautions. “Park regulations require that you stay at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all wildlife (including bison, elk and deer) and at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves.”