Cold? What cold?

bison theodore roosevelt national park sundog

A faint sundog overhead, bison stroll down the road like it’s a summer day.

The bison roaming the Theodore Roosevelt National Park are built for cold.  So, if you want to take a winter drive through the park — whenever the road is open – you’ll see bison alive and doing well.  When we get a chance to visit the stars of the Park, we stop by – even in winter. Of course, we look for herds of bison and often see them when we hike — even in winter.  (There are short easy trails to follow when it’s too cold to plan a day of hiking.)

We’ve not had much snow this winter, but it has been cold. That cold doesn’t bother bison because their winter coat is thick and wooly.  Their skin also gets another layer of fat for more insulation.

It’s those qualities that ranchers in the late 1800s wanted to incorporate into their cattle herds.  Their efforts saved the plains bison from extinction and that’s why we have herds in the National Park today.  In fact, if you trace the lineage of the bison at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, you’ll see they are direct descendants of the herds that once roamed the plains — but only because ranchers saved the herds from extinction.

bison graze snow winter

At the north unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, bison graze easily through the snow.


Bison ancestry keeps them warm

We’ll tell you more about the stars of the park, and how they were saved from complete annihilation,  next week. It’s all about their ancestry.  Stay tuned.

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