Better East Texas: Resist the urge to tame wild animals

Better East Texas: Resist the urge to tame wild animals

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - I saw the news report recently where a bison calf had to be euthanized after a family picked up the calf in Yellowstone Park, put it in their SUV, and took it to a ranger station.

The family thought the calf was cold and needed attention. As it turned out, the calf was fine but when it was returned to its herd, the other bison rejected the calf because of the human scent on the calf. This is a typical scenario in nature when a young animal is injured, infirm, or has come in contact with humans.

Wild animals act, well, wild, and they can't be changed. We air news reports regularly that show wild animals that have been put into an urban environment by people with the hopes of domesticating the animals. You see it all the time with primates, reptiles and even big cats.

It is a proven fact but people still think they are going to be Doctor Doolittle personified and that they will somehow teach a tiger to be a housecat. It is a message to everyone - whether in Yellowstone Park, a local state park or a city park where wild animals live – leave them in the wild, don't approach them and try to teach them out of their wildness and, as was demonstrated in this case, leave the bisons alone.

Statistics continue to show a rise in encounters between humans and wild animals – and the results are not good. And it is usually not the animals fault. You may not encounter a bison but resist the urge to change what cannot be changed.

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