The weather at Yellowstone National Park on May 9 was fairly temperate: The low was 39 degrees Fahrenheit; the high was 50.

Nevertheless, when two tourists saw a baby bison, they decided it looked cold and needed to be rescued. So they loaded it in the trunk of their car and drove it to a ranger station.

Over the weekend, their action was widely mocked online as evidence of extreme anthropomorphism, not to mention stupidity. On Monday, the park revealed that it was also deadly – for the bison.

The newborn calf had to be euthanized, the park said, because its mother had rejected it as a result of the “interference by people.”

“Park rangers tried repeatedly to reunite the newborn bison calf with the herd. These efforts failed,” the park said. “The bison calf was later euthanized because it was abandoned and causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway.”

The bison’s death was the latest in a seemingly unending parade of incidents that underscore the foolishness of approaching, feeding, taking selfies with – or, in this case, trying to help – wildlife.

The park emphasized that these interactions can be dangerous and illegal, and it condemned recent viral videos of people approaching bison at perilously close distances.

About 4,900 bison live in Yellowstone. Park regulations require visitors to stay at least 25 yards, or about 75 feet, away from all wildlife, including bison, and 100 yards from wolves and bears.


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