Authorities are looking for two people after they allegedly approached and harassed a bison calf at a national park in Wyoming.
The incident occurred in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming at approximately 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 4, when two individuals were seen “approaching and touching a bison calf at the southern end of Elk Ranch Flats in Grand Teton National Park,” read a statement from the National Park Service describing the encounter.
Park rangers are now asking the public for help with their investigation and anyone with any information on the alleged individuals involved with the bison encounter is asked to contact park authorities immediately.
“Interference by people can cause wildlife to reject their offspring,” the National Park Service said. “In this case, fortunately, the calf was successfully reunited with its herd, but often these interactions result in euthanizing the animal. Approaching wildlife can drastically affect their well-being and survival.”
“Summer is a great time to see wildlife in Grand Teton National Park among wildflowers, sagebrush flats, and meandering creeks. It’s important to view wildlife safely, responsibly and ethically,” authorities continued. “Treat all wildlife with caution and respect as they are wild, unpredictable and can be dangerous. The safety of visitors and wildlife depends on everyone playing a critical role in being a steward for wildlife by giving them the space they need to thrive -- their lives depend on it.”
The National Park Service took the opportunity to remind people to always be alert for wildlife and to keep a safe distance.
“Always maintain a distance of at least 100 yards from bears and wolves, and 25 yards from other wildlife. Use binoculars, a spotting scope, or a telephoto lens for a good view. Never position yourself between a female and offspring—mothers are very protective. Let wildlife thrive undisturbed. If your actions cause an animal to change their behavior, you are too close,” park officials said.
It is also illegal to feed any wildlife in national parks.
“Wildlife will depend on people for food, resulting in poor nutrition and aggressive behavior,” the National Park Service said. “If fed, any animal may become unhealthy, bite you, expose you to rabies, or need to be killed.”
Anybody with information on the individuals involved with this case should contact the park Tip Line 307-739-3367. Additionally, if you happen to see any harassment of wildlife happening in the park, authorities say you should immediately contact the park’s dispatch center at 307-739-3301 to report the incident.