Tourist interference causes death of bison


Yellowstone National Park / CC BY 2.0

Bison can be found all over Yellowstone National Park, but due to an incident with two tourists, one less bison calf will be roaming the park.

Brooke Chang, Scot Scoop Editor-in-Chief

From the creation of civilization to the creation of the iPhone, human interaction has caused the world to change in drastic ways.

However, an interaction between two tourists and a bison in Yellowstone National Park left a bison calf cut off from his herd, which led to his forced death by euthanization.

On May 17, two tourists saw a bison calf wandering through Yellowstone. Thinking that the calf was cold and alone, the tourists tried to help by putting it in the trunk of their car and driving it to the park ranger station.

According to KTVU News, after failing to reunite the bison calf with its herd, the park rangers were forced to euthanize the calf. Officials believe that the calf was a safety hazard to itself and the humans around it as it was no longer scared of the tourists.

Charissa Reid, a Yellowstone public affairs officer, told ABC News that “the bison seemed to be imprinted on cars and people. Rangers had to make a tough decision because they didn’t want it to get hit or cause an accident that could cause harm to itself or other people.”

This incident with the bison calf is not the first time that tourists have caused the death of an animal.

In Feb. 2016, tourists in Argentina scooped a baby dolphin out of the water to take selfies, causing it to die of dehydration.

Many students have a very strong reaction when reading these stories.

Sophomore Maya Raman said, “The human race is already destroying so much of the Earth. When it comes to wild animals, we need to stay away and share the resources. We can’t keep destroying everything.”

Other students, like junior Mathew Irwin, noticed that many are using these tourist accidents as reasons to increase security around national parks.

“I understand why someone would want to increase security, but I definitely think that’s not a good idea,” said Irwin. “National parks are for people to enjoy nature and further security would take away from the nature part of the parks. I think people just need to remember that when it comes to nature, don’t take anything and don’t leave anything.”