Tourists pick up newborn elk calf in Yellowstone

Photo credit: Dreamstime

Some people need a reminder to leave wildlife – especially young wildlife – alone. Officials are investigating a recent incident where tourists picked up a newborn elk calf in Yellowstone National Park and drove it in their car during Memorial Day Weekend. 

“In recent days, some actions by visitors have led to the endangerment of people and wildlife and resulted in the death of wildlife,” the park said in a news release. “The park calls on visitors to protect wildlife by understanding how their actions can negatively impact wildlife.”

The Memorial Day Weekend incident concluded with the elk calf running into the forest after visitors delivered the animal to the West Yellowstone, Montana, Police Department, according to a news release. Its condition is “unknown” at this time and officials haven’t released any additional information.

However, this isn’t a standalone event. 

On May 31, a Hawaii man pleaded guilty to “intentionally disturbing wildlife in the park” after he “grabbed a struggling newborn bison calf” from the river and pushed it onto the roadway in the northeastern portion of Yellowstone. The calf died as a result. And this is just one of many bison-related incidents the park is investigating. 

Park regulations require that visitors stay at least 25 yards away from all wildlife (including bison, elk and deer) and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves. Park officials urge visitors to follow the rules and use “good judgement” for “[t]he safety of these animals, as well as human safety.”


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