Weighing in at one ton and standing over 5 feet at the shoulder, the American Bison, or more commonly known as the Buffalo, is the largest, heaviest herbivore in North America. Once numbering in the millions they were persecuted heavily in the 1800’s; their numbers dipping to around 500 animals. Now 200,000 strong, buffalo like these living in Yellowstone National Park, spend their days foraging across the hillsides, usually staying in the lower to mid-elevations of the park. As they graze, they are continually on the move in large herds. Bulls and cows mingle in separate gender-based herds, but come together in the fall for mating. Yellowstone offers numerous hot springs and these bison will spend hours resting by the heated pools, digesting their meals of grasses, shrubs and twiggy browse. Numerous rivers also provide the bison with ample water. Although excellent swimmers, rivers still pose a problem when the bison want to cross the large ravines. The solution? Simply run across one of the high bridges located in the park. As seen here, a small group of bison bulls, led by an older mature bull, trot and gallop across a bridge four stories above the Yellowstone River. Running down the yellow line of the highway keeps the bulls centered on the bridge. They appear to know what they are doing, and given the history of their treatment, are fully deserving of the right-of-way.
Music: “Acoustic Meditation” and “Jenny’s Theme” both by Jason Shaw