Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Yellowstone Bison

As you can see, we saw a lot of bison at Yellowstone. Apparently, it is home to some 4,600 of the big guys.

The calves are so sweet. We stayed in our car, but they walk right along and across the roads.

This one stopped traffic to go. 

I said we should have had a Go-Pro to take that shot.

I'm not sure Mama was setting a good example here.

Though sometimes called "buffalo," bison is the preferred name for these large mammals. The ones at Yellowstone are American Bison of the sub-species, Plains Bison. These herds in Yellowstone did not need to be reintroduced as they were protected long enough to maintain herds present from the beginning of the park.  So these are prized for their pure genetics. It is this purity that also makes them susceptible to a disease known as brucellosis. Each year, apparently, some are sent for slaughter to maintain an appropriate herd size. In today's newspaper, I read that their numbers have increased to the point that park managers are seeing a need to cull healthy ones to relocate them. They will quarantine them to make sure that they are disease-free before they are sent elsewhere. Some of them are presently on a Ted Turner ranch in Montana.

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