Bison

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One of my absolute favorite mammals,

Bison once grazed the continent from the mountain grassland of the West as far east as Georgia. Hunted nearly to extinction by the end of the 19th century, These shaggy creatures were bred in zoos and on ranches and then released in parks and refuges. today they can be seen in such areas as Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta, and the National Bison Range in Montana. Often called Buffalo, they belong to the same family as sheep, goats, and cattle. All have horns with a bony cord that are retained from year to year. Bison travel in bands commonly numbering 60 or more but occasionally form large herds. Caves follow their mother closely for two to three weeks after birth, then often band together in playful nursery groups. Weaned at about 7 months, they feed on a variety of green plants for the rest of their lives. Bison have been known to produce calves at 30 years of age. Bison stand 5 to 6.5 feet at the shoulder and can weigh a ton. Just like a cow, the regurgitate their food and chew the cud for final digestion.

One thing to always remember about these amazing animals when you encounter them out in the wild is simply that… they are wild.  Bison have the capability of sprinting up to 30 miles per hour. When was the last time you were able to run that fast?! 

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Yellowstone National Park has multiple signs posted about safety around bison.  But, despite the notifications everywhere, people still treat them as they are tame, domesticated creatures. To get a good look at bison, use binoculars or a camera that can zoom in.  Sure, you can get close to one if it allows you too… but don’t say we didn't warn you as it flings you over its head.