Over 150 Yellowstone Bison Filmed on Park Road as Officials Warn of Winter Migration

Over 150 bison have been filmed walking along a main road in Yellowstone as officials issue a warning that the winter migration has begun at the National Park.

Footage taken by YouTube user Broyles Outdoors from inside a car shows the herd making their way through traffic at the west entrance road.

"They keep coming, oh my gosh, this is crazy," one of the passengers says. "They could do some serious damage to our car."

As one particularly large bison approaches them, a male passenger says: "This is crazy ... This is a once in a lifetime, that's the Grand Poobah."

"He is massive, look how huge he is," the female passenger says.

The couple continue to film as bison continue to walk past. The female passenger says the encounter had lasted for over 10 minutes as the end of the herd comes into sight—but not before one very large bison comes extremely close to their vehicle. "Holy cow," the man said.

This encounter followed a message from officials via the Yellowstone National Park Facebook page warning people that the onset of winter brings with it the movement of bison.

"Wildlife like their privacy, too," the post said. "As the snow begins to fly, bison begin to migrate to lower elevations, often utilizing park roads. Remember to drive cautiously, give them room—at least 100 yards (91 meters) from bears or wolves, and at least 25 yards (23 meters) from bison, elk, and other wildlife—and use a zoom lens!"

In 2020, the National Park Service counted 4,680 bison in Yellowstone.

These belonged to two primary breeding herds—the larger northern herd, with over 3,400 individuals, and the central herd, which has almost 1,250 bison.

Males can weigh up to 2,000 pounds, while females reach around 1,000 pounds. They are found in the Hayden and Lamar valleys throughout the year. In winter, they can also be found in the Gardiner Basin, Tower, the Blacktail Deer Plateau, as well as hydrothermal areas on the Madison River.

The park advises people to never approach wildlife to take pictures and if an animal moves closer towards you, back away to a safe distance. In an email to Newsweek, a spokesperson for Yellowstone National Park said people who encounter bison on roads should stay in their vehicles and give them plenty of space.

The spokesperson said bison have injured more people at the park than any other animal. "Bison are unpredictable and can run three times faster than humans," they said.

Bison gorings are recorded most years at the park. In 2020, a 72-year-old woman from California was gored multiple times after getting too close to the animal for photos.

"The series of events that led to the goring suggest the bison was threatened by being repeatedly approached to within 10 feet," Senior Bison Biologist Chris Geremia said in a statement.

"Bison are wild animals that respond to threats by displaying aggressive behaviors like pawing the ground, snorting, bobbing their head, bellowing, and raising their tail. If that doesn't make the threat (in this instance it was a person) move away, a threatened bison may charge. To be safe around bison, stay at least 25 yards away, move away if they approach, and run away or find cover if they charge."

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Stock image: A large male bison blocks a road in Yellowstone National Park. The NPS has said bison have started to migrate ahead of winter in Yellowstone. Getty Images