Last updated: 01:00 PM ET, Tue May 17 2016

Baby Bison Put In Car By Tourists Euthanized

Impacting Travel | Rich Thomaselli | May 17, 2016

Baby Bison Put In Car By Tourists Euthanized

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

The baby bison at Yellowstone National Park who was carried by two tourists into an SUV last week because they thought it was cold has died.

Park officials confirmed that the calf needed to be euthanized. Once it came into human contact, it was shunned by its mother and the rest of its herd.

"Interference by people can cause mothers to reject their offspring,” the Park Service wrote in a statement. "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.”

Park officials said they did not know how old the baby calf was, but that it had to be seven months or less since it was still nursing.

The tourists – only described as a father and son from outside the United States – came across the calf in the middle of the road in Yellowstone. When they couldn’t get it to move, they exited the vehicle, thought it was too cold out a 39 degrees for the calf, and literally picked the baby up and put it in the back of their Toyota Sequoia, despite repeated attempts by other tourists to stop them.

Not to mention warnings all over the park to stay at least 75 feet away from bison and 100 feet from wolves and bears.

Karen Richardson of Victor, Idaho, was one of several parents chaperoning a group of fifth-graders on a field trip to Yellowstone last week who took the now infamous photo that went viral of the baby calf in the back of the SUV.

“They were demanding to speak with a ranger,” Richardson told “They were seriously worried that the calf was freezing and dying.”

Rob Heusevelet, the father of another student, also told the paper that the men “didn’t care” when told by several bystanders to remove the baby from the car.

“They sincerely thought they were doing a service and helping that calf by trying to save it from the cold,” Heusevelet said.

The men drove the calf to a ranger station; Park rangers drove it back to the site where it was found and released it, but the damage had already been done.


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