Law enforcement in Yellowstone National Park is asking the public’s help for information on an incident from Saturday evening, May 20, 2023 involving a man and a newborn bison calf in the park’s northeast corner that resulted in the calf’s death.
According to a park press release, the man approached a newborn bison calf in Lamar Valley near the confluence of the Lamar River and Soda Butte Creek. The calf had become separated from its mother when the herd crossed the Lamar River.
The man is reportedly in his 40s or 50s and was wearing a blue shirt and black pants. The release said he pushed the calf up from the river as it struggled and onto the roadway. Visitors reportedly later saw the calf walk up to cars and people and following them.
Park rangers made repeated efforts to reunite the calf with its herd but were unsuccessful. The abandoned animal was later killed by park staff as it was creating a hazardous situation by approaching people and cars, according to the release.
Yellowstone reminded the public:
“Approaching wild animals can drastically affect their well-being and, in this case, their survival. Park regulations [nps.gov] require that people 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.”
Anyone who was in Lamar Valley on the evening of May 20, 2023, or who has information that could help the investigation is asked to contact the Yellowstone National Park Tip Line at 307-344-2132 or YELL_Tip@nps.gov.