A newborn baby bison is dead after Yellowstone National Park visitors put it in their vehicle because they were concerned for the animal.

Last week, the visitors were cited for putting the baby bison in their car and transporting it to a park facility. When park officials tried to reunite the animal with its mother, the mother rejected it because of the human interference, Yellowstone said in a press release Monday morning.

“In this case, park rangers tried repeatedly to reunite the newborn bison calf with the herd. These efforts failed. The bison calf was later euthanized because it was abandoned and causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway,” the news release states.

Photo Courtesy: Karen Richardson via Facebook
Photo Courtesy: Karen Richardson via Facebook

Not only is this behavior unsafe, and in this case deadly, for the animals, it’s also dangerous for humans. Adult animals will aggressively try to defend their young, the park pointed out.

The park mentioned the baby bison’s death in a press release urging people to respect the wildlife and safety regulations in the park.

“In recent weeks, visitors in the park have been engaging in inappropriate, dangerous, and illegal behavior with wildlife. These actions endanger people and have now resulted in the death of a newborn bison calf,” the release states.

Several other events have occurred recently. In one viral video, a visitor approached an adult bison in the Old Faithful area, getting within an arm's length of the animal. Another video featured visitors posing for pictures with bison at extremely unsafe and illegal distances.  Last year, five visitors were seriously injured when they approached bison too closely. Bison injure more visitors to Yellowstone than any other animal.

“Approaching wild animals can drastically affect their well-being and, in this case, their survival. Park regulations require that you stay at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all wildlife (including bison, elk and deer) and at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves.  Disregarding these regulations can result in fines, injury, and even death. The safety of these animals, as well as human safety, depends on everyone using good judgment and following these simple rules,” the park reminds people.

Yellowstone isn't the only place where this is happening. A woman was recently lifeflighted after being gored by a bison that she approached in Custer State Park in South Dakota.

Here's a better way to interact with the wildlife in Yellowstone, from the safety of your vehicle:

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