Wednesday, December 23, 2015

American Bison

Last July, Erika and I spent an extra day driving home from Olympia. Instead of crossing South Dakota, we followed I-90 through North Dakota. We spent one morning in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  I was hoping for some new dragonflies, but the day was cool and windy. To my disappointment, we saw none. We did find a few interesting birds—and American Bison, which seemed to roam everywhere, including the highway. In an earlier post, I wrote about the history of these mammals.

We treated these beasts, the largest North American terrestrial animals, with respect. American Bison are one of the most dangerous animals in North America. Although they have poor eyesight, their senses of hearing and smell are excellent. Annually in Yellowstone National Park, bison kill more people than do bears. Bison can run 35 miles per hour and they are nimble. They may attack with little provocation. Tourists gawking from the roadsides do not ameliorate this situation.

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