Clifford Walters pleaded guilty to one count of feeding, touching, teasing, frightening or intentionally disturbing wildlife on Wednesday, and was made to pay about $1,000, half of which will go to the park’s wildlife fund, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Walters had tried to help the bison calf after it was separated from its mother and struggling to get out of the Lamar River on May 20, park officials said.
But that contact led the bison’s herd to reject the calf, in spite of park rangers’ repeated unsuccessful attempts to reunite them.
The calf was later euthanized by park staff because it was causing a hazard by approaching cars and people on the road.
Prosecutors said there was nothing that indicated Walters acted with malice.
According to the park, the calf was euthanized instead of being sent to a sanctuary because federal and state regulations prohibit the transport of bison out of the park unless they are sent to meat processing or scientific research facilities.
In a statement, Yellowstone National Park reminded visitors to stay at least 25 yards away from all wildlife and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves.
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