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Yellowstone officials hunting for man whose actions caused bison calf’s death

(Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Yellowstone National Park officials are investigating an incident in mid-May in which human interference resulted in a bison calf’s death, according to the National Park Service. 

The park service is looking for information that could determine the identity of a park visitor who approached a newborn bison calf that had been separated from its mother when the herd crossed the Lamar River in Lamar Valley, according to a May 23 news release. 

“As the calf struggled, the man pushed the calf up from the river and onto the roadway,” the park service says. “Visitors later observed the calf walk up to and follow cars and people.”

The man is described as a white male, approximately 40–50 years old, who was wearing a blue shirt and black pants, per the park service. 

According to the release, interference can cause wildlife to reject their offspring. Despite repeated efforts to reunite the calf with the herd, park staff had to euthanize the calf because it had been abandoned and was causing a hazardous situation by approaching cars and people along the roadway. 

The park service is asking anyone who was in Lamar Valley on May 20 who may have information that could help identify the man to contact the Yellowstone National Park Tip Line at 307-344-2132 or by email. 

Park regulations require visitors to stay 25 yards away from all wildlife and 100 yards away from bears and wolves, per the release. 

“Disregarding these regulations can result in fines, injury, and even death,” the park service says. “The safety of these animals, as well as human safety, depends on everyone using good judgment and following these simple rules.”