Saturday, August 04, 2007

There be Bison

On a recent trip to Western South Dakota, we spent sometime in the Badlands and the Black Hills. One of the highlights of the trip was seeing wild bison.

American Bison are often mistakenly referred to as buffalo, but buffalo really only refer to Asian varieties. American Bison were hunted close to extinction during the 19th and 20th centuries. Wild herds were reintroduced from private commercial herds in the early 20th century. The animals have since successfully re-established themselves in both the Badlands National Park and Custer State Park in the Black Hills.

Our first real bison sighting was in the Badlands near dusk.

Prior to seeing any animals, we were repeatedly warned not to approach the bison. This should be obvious, but apparently its not.

The first few groups were on the distant hills.

Eventually we found some nearer to the road.

This group held up traffic proving an opportunity to see them up close.

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