Yellowstone Park Rangers are asking for information about a gentleman in his mid-40s to 50s who, in handling a wild baby calf regardless of his intentions, got it rejected by its herd. The NPS doesn't work with rescue groups, zoos, or other sanctuaries that may have taken the animal and euthanized the baby calf. While they do have a very clever social media presence, our NPS has become a government-owned concession stand working for a profit.
Touching an animal can result in its mother and or the rest of its herd shunning it, likely due to the new and unsavory human smell they are carrying. When I volunteered with a wild animal rescue, we also took a ton of care to obscure ourselves from the animals and to attempt to keep them from finding humans friendly or even non-threatening. The last thing we want is a habituated elephant seal deciding to snuggle a beachgoer.
"As the calf struggled, the man pushed the calf up from the river and onto the roadway," NPS said. "Visitors later observed the calf walk up to and follow cars and people."
Park rangers repeatedly tried to reunite the calf with the herd, but the herd resisted.
The rangers later euthanized the calf, saying its persistence in approaching cars posed a hazard to guests, according to NPS.
NPS has frequently defended its policy of not interfering in the natural death of animals on public lands, including orphaned offspring.
"Our focus is on sustaining viable populations of native wildlife species, rather than protecting individual animals," reads an NPS webpage on the policy. "An animal's survival depends on its own daily decisions and natural selection."