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Yellowstone National Park investigating bison calf incident, death


Yellowstone National Park investigating bison calf incident, death

May 23, 2023 | 7:48 pm ET
By Daily Montanan Staff
Yellowstone National Park investigating bison calf incident, death
An unidentified man helps a bison calf from the water in Yellowstone National Park. The calf was later euthanized because it became separated from its mother. (Photo courtesy of Hellen Jacks via Yellowstone National Park)

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyoming – Yellowstone National Park law enforcement officers are asking the public for information about an incident that occurred on the evening of May 20, between an unidentified man and a newborn bison calf in the park’s northeast corner.

The man intentionally disturbed the calf, which resulted in the death of the calf, the park said.

A white male in his 40 or 50s, wearing a blue shirt and black pants, approached a newborn bison calf in Lamar Valley near the confluence of the Lamar River and Soda Butte Creek, according to a news release. The calf had been separated from its mother when the herd crossed the Lamar River. As the calf struggled, the man pushed the calf up from the river and onto the roadway.

Visitors later observed the calf walk up to and follow cars and people.

Interference by people can cause wildlife to reject their offspring. In this case, park rangers tried repeatedly to reunite the calf with the herd, according to the park. These efforts failed. The calf was later killed by park staff because it was abandoned by the herd and causing a hazardous situation by approaching cars and people along the roadway.

Approaching wild animals can drastically affect their well-being and, in this case, their survival. Park regulations require that people stay at least 25 yards away from all wildlife (including bison, elk and deer) and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves. Disregarding these regulations can result in fines, injury and death.

Park officials are asking for the public’s help. If you were in Lamar Valley on the evening of May 20 and have information that could help this investigation, please contact the Yellowstone National Park tip line at 307-344-2132 or [email protected].

This incident remains under investigation.