American Bison

posted in: National park, Wildlife | 0

American Bison— On April 26, 2016, the House voted unanimously to make the bison the national mammal of the United States. The American Bison now joins the bald eagle, the nation’s official bird. The bison (or buffalo) has a tremendous significance to the nation’s history and was present in many Native American cultures.

When we visited Yellowstone NP, we were impressed and moved by the large number of bison there, particularly in the Lamar Valley area. That park, according to the National Park Service, has a bison population of approximately 2,300-5,000 animals. Yellowstone is a special place for the bison, especially since it is the only place in the USA where they “have lived continuously since prehistoric times,” says the NPS. When you drive to Lamar Valley, the first time you see bison herds will definitely be a memorable experience. To me it was like I was stepping back in time. You can sometimes even hear their low grunting and snores. You should not approach a bison. They are wild animals and and the largest land mammal in North America. They can weigh up to 2,000 pounds (900 kg), the NPS says. Also, they are even more dangerous when they are in the rut, which happens in the months of July and August. We saw a male showing his territory to another male the day I got these photos. Below you have another glimpse of the American Bison life. They roll in the dirt (that’s called “wallowing”) to get rid of biting flies and also remove tufts of fur. While doing that, they also leave their scent in the wallow.

Bison wallowing

Aperture: ƒ/9
Camera: NIKON D40X
Taken: 28 July, 2009
Focal length: 55mm
ISO: 200
Location: 44° 52.1155′ 0″ N 110° 10.4753′ 0″ W
Shutter speed: 1/160s