YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — Yellowstone National Park officials killed a newborn bison because its herd wouldn’t take the animal back after a man picked it up.
The calf became separated from its mother when the herd crossed the Lamar River in northeastern Yellowstone on Saturday. The unidentified man pushed the struggling calf up from the river and onto a roadway, park officials said in a statement Tuesday.
Park rangers tried repeatedly to reunite the calf with the herd but were unsuccessful. Visitors saw the calf walking up to and following cars and people, creating a hazard, so park staff killed the animal.
It’s the latest example of Yellowstone visitors getting in trouble or hurt after approaching bison. Park officials euthanized a newborn bison after a similar incident in 2016, when a Canadian man and his son put the calf in their SUV, thinking they could rescue it.
The man pleaded guilty. He was fined $235 and ordered to pay $500 to the Yellowstone Park Foundation Wildlife Protection Fund.
Bison have gored several people in Yellowstone in recent years, often after they got too close to the animals.