Yellowstone: Idiots interact with wildlife

Yellowstone: Idiots interact with wildlife
Target-rich environment. (Image via yellowstonepark.com)

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.

Last week in Yellowstone National Park, visitors were cited for placing a newborn bison calf in their vehicle and transporting it to a park facility because of their 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. In addition, interference by people can cause mothers to reject their offspring. In this case, park rangers tried repeatedly to reunite the newborn bison calf with the herd. These efforts failed. The bison calf was later euthanized because it was abandoned and causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway.

In a recent viral video, a visitor approached within an arm’s length of an adult bison in the Old Faithful area. Another video featured visitors posing for pictures with bison at extremely unsafe and illegal distances.

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