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A bison calf has been euthanized at Yellowstone National Park after concerned tourists drove around with it in their vehicle.

The story made headlines over the weekend after a shocked visitor snapped a photo of it. 

The man and his son, who were visiting from another country, reportedly drove around with the calf trying to find a park ranger, believing that they were rescuing the animal from the cold.

Rangers eventually ticketed the pair and the bison was released.

The Park Service later said that the bison had to be euthanized because "it was abandoned and causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway."

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.

East Idaho News reported on the bison-napping over the weekend. Parents who were chaperoning a group of fifth-graders on a field trip reported what happened.

Karen Richardson explained that the father and son were demanding to speak with a ranger and "were seriously worried that the calf was freezing and dying."

The Park Service said that in recent weeks visitors in the park have been engaging in "inappropriate, dangerous, and illegal behavior with wildlife."

Officials pointed to recent viral videos in which visitors came dangerously close to adult bison, with some attempting to pose for pictures.


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