Another sad story resulting from humans mishandling animals: a bison calf had to be euthanized after Yellowstone tourists snatched it and put it in their SUV in order to "keep it warm." As a result of this mess, authorities are once again having to warn the general public to keep their distance from wild animals, this time specifically in national parks. It's so crucial for human beings to realize that interfering with the natural course of a wild animal's life can cost the animal its life, even if the human intentions are good. According to reports, a father and son saw the bison calf on the side of the road and were "seriously worried that the calf was freezing or dying." The two men pulled up to a ranger station in order to deliver the bison calf, but instead of being lauded (for their grossly ill-informed efforts), they were ticketed and told to take rangers back the exact spot where they found the calf in an attempt to release it to its herd. Although rangers tried several times to reunite the calf with the herd, their attempts failed. The baby bison could not be released to a zoo or animal farm because park regulations state that under no circumstances can an animal be moved out of Yellowstone. Sadly, the bison calf had to be put down as a result of this tragic situation.
It's not the first time tourists have interfered with bison at Yellowstone. In 2015, there were five specific incidents wherein people were gored and seriously injured because they got too close to bison. People often see them as "harmless cows," but they're actually quite aggressive if they feel that their young or their herd is being threatened. Visitors are expressly warned to stay away from wildlife at the national park (at least 25 feet away, as well as specifically 100 feet from wolves and bears) for both animal and human safety. We've written about stories like this in the past, where selfish and/or ignorant humans (even if their intentions are good, which they likely were in the case of this baby bison) cause grave harm to animals by handling them, like with the story of the baby dolphin who was passed around a beach and suffocated in the name of a "selfie" or the Chinese peacock who died of fright after being grabbed and its feathers plucked. It's just heartbreaking to realize how intrusive and self-motivated human beings can be. Especially in this modern world where the natural environment is so threatened by man's choices, it's devastating to read about such blatantly careless and pointless wildlife loss.