Mammoth Hot Springs, WY – A newborn bison calf was euthanized by Yellowstone National Park staff because they said it posed a risk to park visitors. According to a news release, the calf was separated from its mother and was approaching cars on a park roadway, creating a hazardous situation.
According to the news release, the calf was abandoned by its herd after being “intentionally disturbed” by a man who helped it out of the Lamar River. The release explains:
An unidentified white male in his 40-50’s, wearing a blue shirt and black pants, approached a newborn bison calf in Lamar Valley near the confluence of the Lamar River and Soda Butte Creek. The calf had been separated from its mother when the herd crossed the Lamar River. As the calf struggled, the man pushed the calf up from the river and onto the roadway.
From the Park Service’s information, it appears that the man was attempting to help the struggling calf get out of the water, but officials want to find the man because people are supposed to 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.
The agency explains the decision to kill the calf, writing:
Interference by people can cause wildlife to reject their offspring. In this case, park rangers tried repeatedly to reunite the calf with the herd. These efforts failed. The calf was later killed by park staff because it was abandoned by the herd and causing a hazardous situation by approaching cars and people along the roadway.
An investigation is currently underway:
If you were in Lamar Valley on the evening of May 20, 2023, and have information that could help this investigation, please contact the Yellowstone National Park Tip Line at 307-344-2132 or YELL_Tip@nps.gov.