- Cowboy State Daily – Hawaiian Tourist Pleads Guilty To Trying To ‘Rescue’ Bison Which Later Was Euthanized In Yellowstone
A Hawaiian man who was photographed “rescuing” a baby bison from the Lamar River in May has pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally disturbing wildlife. U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie A. Hambrick charged Clifford Walters with a $500 fine, a $500 community service payment to Yellowstone Forever Wildlife Protection Fund, a $30 special assessment, and a $10 processing fee for pulling the baby bison out of the river as it was struggling to cross the river.
On May 20th, Walters saw the baby bison struggling to swim across the Lamar River after it had been separated from its mother and herd. He jumped into action and pushed the calf out of the river and up the shore. However, in doing so he did not understand that this action actually caused the very death of the calf that he thought it was preventing. As a result of his actions, the calf which was only days old started to follow people and cars in the area. This in turn created a hazard for both the calf and the people and the Park Rangers were unsuccessful in their attempts to reunite the calf with its herd. In the end, the Rangers had to euthanize the calf.
Was the fines worth the life of this calf? Will this story help keep other people from similar situations?
While I do believe this man was attempting to do good and had no malicious intent, I really don’t think the fine will stop other people from attempting to rescue other baby animals in the park. I say this because just a few years ago a couple placed a cold bison calf in their car and took it to a ranger station. In that case, the calf was also euthanized after the calf was rejected by the mother. Another reason I don’t think it will stop people from doing this and other life-threatening attempts for Instagram fame with the perfect selfie. Just do a search on YouTube for Yellowstone Tourons or visit the Facebook group Yellowstone National Park: Invasion of the Idiots!