Men defend loading Yellowstone bison calf into vehicle

A group of Yellowstone National Park bison await shipment to slaughter inside a holding pen along the park's northern border near Gardiner, Mont. on March 9, 2016. Yellowstone National Park has started shipping its famous wild bison to slaughter in response to concerns by the livestock industry over a disease carried by the animals. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

A Canadian man says he and his son loaded a Yellowstone National Park bison calf into their vehicle last month because they thought it was an abandoned newborn that would die without their help.

The calf died anyway, euthanized by park officials because it couldn’t be reunited with its herd after being handled by Shamash Kassam of Quebec, Canada, and his son, Shakeel Kassam.

The May 9 encounter led to public outcry and renewed warnings by Yellowstone officials for visitors not to touch wildlife. Kassam was fined $235 and ordered to pay $500 to the Yellowstone Park Foundation Wildlife Protection Fund.

Kassam and his son told ABC News (http://abcn.ws/1Zj0UVw) Friday the calf approached them with its umbilical cord still attached. They say they didn’t have the heart to let it suffer, and believed the calf would be integrated with another herd.

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