Bison mom protects newborn calf from coyote attack in Yellowstone

Posted at 9:08 PM, May 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-31 21:08:53-04

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — A newborn bison at Yellowstone National Park learned quickly just how dangerous the world can be.

A coyote tried to attack the bison calf before it could even stand, park officials said on Facebook.

Last week, immediately after a cow bison gave birth, the coyote went in for the kill.

(Photo: Yellowstone National Park)

Park Ranger Joy Duffy captured images of the attack but did not intervene, which is park policy.

“The cow was worn out from giving birth and the calf was unable to stand yet,” park officials said.

(Photo: Yellowstone National Park)

One photo appears to show the coyote with its jaws around the newborn calf.

(Photo: Yellowstone National Park)

Officials said the coyote was “very determined” but the cow bison protected her calf until the coyote eventually gave up.

Park officials noted that “all three appeared to be exhausted from the interaction.”

(Photo: Yellowstone National Park)

Multiple people questioned why park officials didn’t try to stop the attack or help the cow and her calf.

“Death is an unpleasant, but necessary, part of nature,” park officials responded. “Yellowstone is not a zoo or an animal park. It can be difficult to watch nature take its course, especially when young animals are involved.”

Click here to read more about why Yellowstone officials don’t intervene in cases like this.

Just a little over a year ago, the park had to euthanize a bison calf that was rejected by the herd after a tourist and his son put the animal in their SUV, thinking it was cold: