The National Park Service is asking Americans and visitors to the United States to do their part to keep themselves and wildlife safe. In a press release, authorities cited several examples of how good intentions gone awry can cause problems.
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.
Visitors to America’s national parks should respect wildlife by observing from a distance. Take nothing but photos, and leave the animals alone.