Drivers in Shock After 100+ Powerful Bison Flood the Road

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Written by A-Z Animals Staff

Published: May 20, 2024

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Yellowstone Bison
© tomolson54 and Jillian Cooper from Getty Images/ via

It’s been two years since a group of lucky tourists captured a unique sight in Yellowstone National Park: a large herd of bison causing a traffic jam. The herd was traveling across a bridge, with cars waiting on either end.

Bison on the Move

While bison are a common sight in Yellowstone, seeing them on the roads is more unusual. We’re all familiar with traffic jams due to accidents, rush hour, or bad weather, but a bison stampede causing a stand-still? That’s something you don’t see every day.

The video shows cars halted on both sides of a small bridge as a herd of bison moves across it. Different camera angles provide an incredible view of these majestic creatures in motion.

The footage starts with a wide shot of the herd moving from one end of the bridge to the other. They appear near stopped vehicles, some on the road and some on the shoulder. As the herd thunders down the bridge, the only vehicle in their path is a truck that begins to reverse to avoid the oncoming bison. The truck eventually stops off the bridge, allowing the bison to pass by and continue into the grass.

A second shot from the truck closest to the herd offers an up-close view of the bison charging towards the camera. The truck backs up to give them space, capturing the intensity of the moment. Fortunately, the bison veer off before getting too close, resulting in some remarkable footage.

Visiting Yellowstone National Park

Bison are among the most recognizable animals in Yellowstone, frequently seen by visitors. The summer months offer the best chance to explore the park’s roads in your vehicle.

Yellowstone, spanning approximately 3,500 square miles, sits atop a volcanic hotspot, primarily in Wyoming but extending into Montana and Idaho. The park features stunning landscapes, including volcanic peaks, canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs, and geysers like the famous Old Faithful. It is also home to a diverse range of wildlife, including bears, wolves, bison, elk, and antelope.

During winter and spring, many roads close due to ice and snow. When driving in Yellowstone, it’s essential to stay alert for wildlife, as the park is their home, and we are merely visitors.

A-Z Animals’s Take: Wildlife Encounters in National Parks

Safety Tips

Follow these guidelines to stay safe!

©Nosyrevy and JNevitt from Getty Images/ via

Tourists visiting Yellowstone or other national parks may encounter various wildlife. Here are some tips on what to do if you encounter animals like bison, bears, or wolves:

  1. Bison:
    • Maintain a safe distance of at least 25 yards. Bison can be unpredictable and can charge if they feel threatened.
    • Never approach bison, even if they appear calm. Use binoculars or a zoom lens for a closer view.
    • If bison are on or near the road, stay in your vehicle and wait for them to pass.
  2. Bears:
    • Keep a distance of at least 100 yards from bears. Use binoculars or a camera with a zoom lens to observe.
    • Make noise while hiking to avoid surprising a bear. Carry bear spray and know how to use it.
    • Store food and scented items in bear-proof containers or vehicles.
  3. Wolves:
    • Stay at least 100 yards away. Wolves are generally shy but can be curious.
    • Do not attempt to feed or approach wolves. Observe from a safe distance.
    • Keep pets on a leash and do not leave them unattended.

General Wildlife Safety:

  • Stay aware of your surroundings and follow park guidelines.
  • Respect wildlife by keeping a safe distance and not disturbing their natural behavior.
  • Report any dangerous encounters to park rangers.

By following these tips, you can safely enjoy the beauty and wildlife of Yellowstone and other national parks.

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