Justice for Baby Bison Euthanized Because Tourists Put Him in Car

Target: Jonathan Jarvis, Director of National Park Service

Goal: Issue harsh punishments to tourists who loaded a bison calf into their vehicle and were ultimately responsible for its death.

A newborn bison calf had to be euthanized after tourists loaded it into their vehicle and dropped it off at a park facility. Thanks to their careless actions, the calf was abandoned by its herd and rangers’ attempts at reuniting the bison were unsuccessful. Officials said that because the calf was abandoned, it began approaching people and cars, creating dangerous situations and thus had to be euthanized.

The people who caused this innocent wild animal’s death only received a fine, as if money could replace its life. After the incident, the park simply issued “fresh warnings” telling visitors to stay away from the animals. There were several similar cases prior to this one where visitors broke the rules and dangerously interacted with the park’s wild animals. Clearly, the minuscule fines and fresh warnings aren’t stopping people from endangering other life at the park. Help prevent more senseless deaths by demanding that the visitors be properly punished for their reckless behavior that ultimately led to the calf’s death.


Dear Mr. Jarvis,

Visitors at Yellowstone National Park loaded a bison calf into their vehicle and dropped him off somewhere else, which caused his herd to abandon him. Officials said the calf had to be euthanized as their efforts to reunite the herd were fruitless, so the abandoned calf began approaching people and cars.

This is just another example of park visitors completely ignoring rules and destroying wildlife because they’re careless. If there were actual penalties other than a fine for breaking the rules, this calf probably wouldn’t have died. Please see to it that visitors who endanger other life at the park are harshly penalized, starting with these people.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Yellowstone National Park

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  1. this great bison calf should still be alive now. punish the killers now.


    • Annette Overstreet says:

      Yes, and the killers are the park service rangers. Wholesale slaughter of Yellowstone’s bison happens all the time, every day. To kill this baby was nothing to them. I doubt they even tried to find his right herd. I agree that there should be harsh fines for tourists who ignore warnings about the wildlife but, in this case, they weren’t actually the killers – they tried to help – the killers were the rangers who didn’t try hard enough and show compassion enough to help this little guy. They are negligent in their responsibilities.

  3. People do not understand the whole story. The baby bison was filmed earlier in the day struggling to cross a river. It was apparently sick and sought warmth by staying very close to the engine of a vehicle and very near a road. The man who loaded the baby bison into his van and took it for help DID THE RIGHT THING! Unfortunately, the wildlife authorities he took it to were not equipped to give the animal care. That was NOT the fault of the man who tried to help it. That is the fault of wildlife agencies across the country who have a complete lack of compassion for animals that sometimes need a little extra care to make it. Rehabbing is often looked down upon opting instead for a survival of the fittest attitude towards any animal in distress. I will NOT sign any petition calling for punishment of the man who helped the bison in distress. I will sign a petition calling for a complete pardon of his fine and education for the wildlife authorities who killed the bison rather than aiding it.

    • Annette Overstreet says:

      I totally agree. I admit I couldn’t understand why people would put a baby bison in their car, but after seeing the video of that poor little guy, I might have done the same thing. Although perhaps not their legal responsibility, It was the moral responsibility of the park service rangers to help the baby find its herd, and knowing their past concern of wildlife, I just don’t believe they even tried. The wholesale slaughter of Yellowstone’s bison year after year on behalf of the cattle industry makes me furious. It was easier to kill the baby and sweep their action under the rug with a lie.

  4. Robert Derek Murphy says:

    I totally agree that it is wildlife at its purest form. However, how about a little compassion here? If I witnessed a calf in need of medical attention I would have done the same thing! If I felt the Park Service was not providing adequate care I would have taken the animal to a Vet. AS for the fine, $137.00. It says more about the “Park Service”, and their inability to properly do their job! Mediocrity at its best. Same on you!!!!

  5. This guy did the right thing. The only people that should be fined would be the killers of this baby byson. The guy only did the right thing. Some people are just heartless.

  6. The tourist did the right thing by trying to get help for the bison calf. If you sa wed a sick helpless animal, would you just go on about your merry way and let the animal suffer and die a slow death? It’s the fault of park rangers for euthanizing it. They could’ve found some wildlife refuge that might have taken it and help it until the calf can live and fend on its own. Don’t blame the tourist who tried to help the poor calf.

  7. K McLaughlin says:

    I did sign this petition, but now I regret it. I’d like you to delete my online signature. Thanks.

  8. Can forcechange.com please delete my online signature? I just watched the news on this and the tourist Mr Shamash Kassam was actually trying to save the baby bison… So many people and me included would have done the same thing… This petition is so misleading!!!

  9. The petition suggests that the baby bison died BECAUSE the tourists took it to the ranger (“Thanks to their careless actions, the calf was abandoned by its herd”) when in fact there is no way to know that. The baby bison may have already been abandoned by its herd when the tourists took pity on it and brought it to the ranger against park rules.

    What also isn’t mentioned in the news articles is that “on Feb. 15, Yellowstone National Park began its annual bison cull…officials are reducing Yellowstone’s 5,000-animal herd by nearly 1,000.”

  10. Courtney Belyea says:

    They should never have put down a healthy baby. There are non-profit wild animal sanctuaries available.

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