Yellowstone rangers dealt with a bizarre bison incident.
There has been no shortage of stories about tourists doing dumb things in Yellowstone National Park in recent years, but this latest story may top them all.
A father and son were reportedly ticketed in the park last week after bringing a bison calf to rangers in their SUV because they thought it was cold.
Karen Richardson, a parent chaperoning a fifth-grade field trip in the park described the bizarre incident that happened at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch to East Idaho News.
“They were demanding to speak with a ranger,” Richardson said. “They were seriously worried that the calf was freezing and dying.”
The calf has since been euthanized, as the National Park Service released a statement saying it was rejected by its herd, and was “causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway.”
Exactly where and how the father and son came across the calf and managed to get into their car without getting stomped to death by an angry mother bison is unclear. The two were not named, but were reportedly out-of-country tourists who were apparently not aware the animals in the park are wild animals.
They also apparently ignored all the warnings in the park that tell visitors to remain at least 25 yards away from large animals.
The people at the ranch realized the father and son’s mistake and another parent attempted to warn the two of the trouble they’d be in for taking a bison away in their vehicle. They apparently brushed off these warnings.
“They didn’t care,” Heusevelet told East Idaho News. “They sincerely thought they were doing a service and helping that calf by trying to save it from the cold.”
Predictably, rangers were not as pleased with the two’s actions as they thought they would be. The rangers reportedly ticketed the two for moving the calf. They also made sure the animal was released back where the two had picked it up.
It didn’t take long for photos of the bison calf in the back of the men’s SUV to go viral on social media.
The two are definitely lucky to have gotten away with just a fine. Officials have noted an uptick in bison attacks in the park in recent years. In fact, there was a study put out earlier this year noting attacks may be increasing due to people trying to take selfies with the animals. There were five attacks in the park last summer.
Remember, if you’re planning to go to the nation’s first national park this year, the bison of Yellowstone are wild animals. Even though they may look docile, it only takes a moment to make one angry!