A few weeks ago, I wrote a column more or less defending tourists unwise enough to think their trip to Yellowstone National Park should include a close encounter with a bison.
I’m going to have to reconsider my stance after reading about the father-and-son team who put a bison calf in their SUV and took it to a ranger station, worried that the creature was freezing to death.
What’s next? Will tourists net fish to save them from drowning? Maybe capture a pelican and put it in a cage so it doesn’t get hurt falling from the sky? Or perhaps they could try wiping the blood from the maw of a feasting wolf, with a white linen napkin.
Maybe we could issue “bison bags” to tourists so they could clean up after animals who inconsiderately poop in our otherwise very tidy national park. And by all means, keep a sharp eye out for some adorable grizzly bear cubs. If their mother is not in sight, feel free to take the cubs into your own custody, to save them from neglect.
The good news is, rangers ticketed the Good Samaritans, then followed them back to where they picked up the calf and made sure it was released.
It has become abundantly clear that people are simply not reading the brochures or listening to the rangers or heeding the signs. If father and son were put in stocks for a couple of days, right off one of Yellowstone’s busiest roads, with placards around their necks advertising their stupidity, maybe other tourists would get the point.
Considering all the evidence posted regularly on YouTube, there are enough dumb tourists doing dumb things to keep those stocks full all summer long.