Science | January 2, 2023 4:07 pm

Over a Dozen Bison Die After Truck Collision Near Yellowstone

The accident took place in West Yellowstone, Montana

Bison
This hasn't been a good week for bison.
Kurt Kaiser, CC0

When you think of national parks, it’s not difficult to envision them as a safe refuge for much of the wildlife living there. Unfortunately for 13 bison in the vicinity of Yellowstone National Park, that isn’t always the case — particularly when it comes to the roads surrounding the park. As NPR reports, the bison were involved in a crash with a semi truck on Highway 191 in West Yellowstone, Montana — an incident that left 13 bison either dead on the site or in need of euthanization.

A statement from the local police provided more details on the incident, and noted that roadways are, unfortunately, frequented by bison in the colder months. “As all of the area residents know, bison frequent the 191 corridor between the town and the Highway 287 junction,” the statement explained. “In the winter months, they are most often found near paved roadways and snowmobile trails due to these areas being easier for them to travel.”

As the statement went on to explain, this had led to a number of events similar to the collision on December 28 in previous years.

The statement went on to give drivers a worthwhile piece of advice: “Although speed may not have necessarily been a factor in this accident, road conditions at the time would dictate traveling below the posted speed limit.” Whether or not there are bison near the areas where you drive, being mindful of your surroundings — especially when there’s snow on the ground — is always good advice.