WATCH: Local woman who took viral bison photo speaks out
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UPDATE: Yellowstone has explained why they euthanized the animal. Read statement by clicking here.
YELLOWSTONE – A bison calf put in a vehicle by tourists had to be euthanized because it was abandoned by its herd, according to a news release posted Monday from the National Park Service.
EastIdahoNews.com broke the story of the father and son visiting Yellowstone National Park from another country last Monday, May 9.
They picked up the animal because they thought it was cold and dying and drove it to a park ranger station.
Karen Richardson of Victor was at the station when the tourists pulled up with the animal in their rental SUV.
“They wanted to talk to the rangers,” Richardson said. “They insisted the animal was freezing cold and dying.”
Park rangers tried repeatedly to reunite the newborn bison calf with the heard but those efforts failed, according to park officials.
“The calf was later euthanized because it was abandoned and causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway,” the news release states.
The photo of the calf in the SUV has gone viral since Richardson posted it on her Facebook page Saturday. Media organizations from all over the world have contacted her about the situation.
“Crazy stuff happens in Yellowstone all the time and this is just one example that park rangers have to deal with,” Richardson told EastIdahoNews.com.
Park regulations require that tourists that stay at least 25 yards away from all wildlife, including bison, elk, and deer, and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves.
The tourists involved in moving the bison were cited.