Yellowstone Bison Calf Had To Be Euthanized: Blame Tourists Not The Park [VIDEOS]

Yellowstone Bison Calf Had To Be Euthanized: Blame Tourists Not The Park [VIDEOS]

Yellowstone Bison Calf Had To Be Euthanized: Blame Tourists Not The Park [VIDEOS]

Animal lovers were taught a harsh lesson in reality this week. A bison calf in Yellowstone National Park was euthanized yesterday.


And the Yellowstone National park rangers are NOT to blame for this.

The bison’s death came after some well-intentioned but misguided visitors found it about two miles east of the historic Lamar Buffalo Ranch in Wyoming. They put it in their SUV and took it to rangers, fearing it was too cold for it.

They were cited for their actions because handling wildlife is strictly against regulations

“Well-intentioned?” No, they weren’t. I’ll be blunt. Those particular tourists were idiots who put themselves and others around them in danger, because they mistakenly thought Yellowstone National Park was one giant petting zoo, and the poor baby bison was going to get a chill. In other words, they “rescued” a wild animal that didn’t need rescuing out of sheer stupidity. Yes, stupidity.

The hue and cry over the bison calf having to be euthanized has been sadly illuminating. Yellowstone National Park is bearing the brunt of the outrage, and they shouldn’t be. The outrage should be placed squarely on the heads of the tourists who disregarded all posted signs in the park. Signs that look like these:




Full disclosure. I am a 5th generation rancher’s daughter. We raised cattle and sheep. Most certainly, there were times we had to bottle feed a calf or lamb, and it would grow up healthy and still be part of the herd. However, there’s a difference between cattle and bison. Cattle are domesticated, mostly. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been kicked, head-butted, stomped on, or even run over by a calf or cow, but they are still domesticated. Bison are WILD animals — not domesticated at all, and I’m sure as heck not going to get anywhere near one of them because I selfishly want a selfie!

Whether anyone wants to accept reality or not, a wild animal’s exposure to humans can cause mothers and the herd to reject that particular animal. I’ve seen it happen, and so have park rangers around the world. Furthermore, for those who believe the brucellosis issue is just an excuse… it’s not. It is a very real, very dangerous disease that can decimate a herd. And by decimate, I mean it can wipe out the entire herd. It is that deadly, and it is a known fact that buffalo are potential carriers of the disease.

But it seems that people all over don’t want to accept the harshness and reality of nature. Yellowstone Park wrote a lengthy post on its Facebook page which you can read here or here, yet people are still hammering at the park not the tourists. Folks, it’s the tourists who started this ball rolling — don’t forget that.

The willful lack of understanding about wild animals and the dangers they pose is why we see stories about people who run out to get a selfie with the nice buffalo, get attacked… and to this day, have no idea how much trouble they were in!

I’m wondering if they aren’t also some of the same type of clueless people who, just the other day, tormented a nurse shark so much that it attacked the woman, attached itself to her arm, and died WHILE STILL ATTACHED!

The bison is our newly minted National Mammal. And through the rest of the spring into summer, tourists visiting Yellowstone National Park may get to see scenes like this:


Or scenes like this photo, which my husband and I took three years ago… from the safety of our truck.


Notice something? The only creatures on the road are the buffalo. In the above instance, the tourists are actually being smart and careful. Perhaps its because they, like we did, recognize that you don’t get out and play “pet the buffalo.”

Nature is cruel. Deal with it. Wild animals are just that, WILD. Understand that, recognize that, and for heavens sake, follow the guidelines and rules. They are there for a reason and if you don’t follow them, you have only yourselves to blame for the consequences of your stupidity.

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  • GWB says:

    They thought the animal was COLD?!? Have they never heard of a “buffalo robe”? Have they never seen pictures of the bison standing in the snow and ice?

    It’s like people complaining about our dog being outside in the rain or cold. The dog is part dingo. It’s bred as a cattle dog. Outside in the elements is where it’s supposed to be.

    There is this, though.

    (This will probably go into moderation for all the links.)

    • Nina says:

      I’m sure they’ve heard of buffalo robes and seen the pictures..but don’t you know? That’s only in the movies! Or something…

      Third link… LOL!!

  • Merle says:

    Surely you don’t expect those bozos to learn anything?
    And why haven’t I seen THEIR pics in all the foofaraw ?


  • SFC D says:

    I grew up not far from that area. The idiots that handled that calf were very lucky that mom didn’t show up with a bad attitude! Yellowstone is not a petting zoo, those are wild animals and they have no issues with killing you if they feel threatened.

  • Rebecca says:

    National Geographic has an entire issue on Yellowstone, which spends a good number of pages addressing the conundrum of managing human access to the park. The answer seems rather simple now: Everyone who wants to enter must pass a test of basic common sense. Yes, it will be completely unfair to stupid people, but nature will thank us for it.

    • GWB says:

      Oh, I disagree. You still let the stupid ones in. You simply restrict them to the parts of the park where the more deadly critters reside. Set aside a feeding area for the big cats and the wolves and coyotes. You probably can’t keep the bears out, either. Then advertise “Feed the animals!”

      (This goes along with my perpetual proposal to reintroduce wolves and bears to the urban environment. The educational opportunities are YUGE!)

  • Nina says:

    Great idea!!

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