National Park Service (NPS) officials reported on May 16 that the newborn bison that was "rescued" by tourists at Yellowstone National Park last week had to be euthanized in order to keep it from becoming a safety concern to park visitors.

The agency said the tourists took the bison calf to a park facility last week after thinking that the animal needed help. However, they were unaware that interfering with newborn animals could cause them to be rejected by their mothers.

Park rangers tried to reunite the newborn bison with the rest of its herd but they were unable to do so. They decided to put down the abandoned calf because of safety concerns after it repeatedly approached cars and park goers along the road.

A spokeswoman for Yellowstone reiterated that approaching the park's wild animals can severely impact their well-being. In the case of the newborn bison, the actions of the tourists affected its survival.

According to park rangers, the tourists who took the calf were given a citation.

Officials have long warned the public about engaging in inappropriate and illegal actions with wildlife, which could place both humans and animals at risk.

Some park goers have been found to interfere with wild animals in Yellowstone. One visitor was captured on video coming dangerously close to an adult bison near Old Faithful. Another video showed several tourists approaching a bison in order to take selfies with the animal.

Officials said bison are known to injure park visitors more than any other wild animal in Yellowstone. These incidents are mostly triggered by humans engaging in inappropriate behavior. Officials warn tourists to stay at least 25 yards away from bison.

Yellowstone is home to 5,000 bison, which freely roam the park's vast wilderness. They serve as one of the park's biggest attractions, drawing millions of tourists from the United States and other countries every year.

In July, a woman from Mississippi was injured by a bison after it charged and gored her while she was trying to take a selfie with the wild animal.

Photo: Aryeh Alex | Flickr 

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