Hawaii man pleads guilty to disturbing Yellowstone bison calf that was later euthanized
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii man has pleaded guilty to intentionally disturbing a newborn bison calf in Yellowstone National Park after an incident that ultimately led to the calf’s death.
Clifford Walters pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one count of feeding, touching, teasing, frightening or intentionally disturbing wildlife.
The incident happened on May 20.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Walters approached the calf in Lamar Valley, near the confluence of the Lamar River and Soda Butte Creek.
The calf was struggling after being separated from its mother when the herd crossed the Lamar River.
Officials said Walters pushed the calf up the river and onto the roadway. Visitors later saw the animal walking up to and following cars and people.
Park rangers had tried repeatedly to reunite the calf with the herd but were unsuccessful.
Park staff had to euthanize the calf because it was abandoned by the herd and causing a hazardous situation by getting close to cars and people.
Walters was charged a $500 fine, a $500 community service payment, a $30 special assessment and a $10 procession fee. Officials said it did not appear that Walters acted maliciously.
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