Yellowstone Bison Take to Roads To Escape 1 in 1,000 Year Floods

Bison have taken to the roads to escape 1 in 1,000 year floods in Yellowstone National Park, a TikTok video shows.

The video posted by TikTok user kryptekeeper, shows a herd of the giant grazing mammals slowly walking up a road in the park.

A man can be heard saying: "A herd of bison has to walk up the road because they cannot cross that."

The camera then pans to a fast flowing river, to the side of the car, caused by the unprecedented rainfall the area has seen in recent days.

Yellowstone National Park
In this combination image A stock photo shows a bison and the rising water levels in Gardner River, near the North Entrance Road. Yellowstone National Park.

The rainfall across Montana, Wyoming and Idaho has caused record flooding across Yellowstone National Park. All five entrances to the park are closed across areas of all three states.

There have been no recorded deaths or injuries during the floods.

However, year round, Yellowstone is home to a wide variety of wildlife. In the park there are 67 species of mammals that graze and use the land, including wolves, bison and grizzly bears. There are thought to be between 2,300 to 5,500 bison in the park, 700 bears, and at least 95 wolves.

During severe floods, animals can become displaced or adversely affected. However it is not yet clear whether that has happened at Yellowstone.

At a press briefing held on June 15, Yellowstone National Park superintendent Cam Sholly—who is entering his fourth summer at the park—said this year had so far been "spectacular" for animal viewing.

It is not clear whether assessments on the wildlife has taken place amid the floods, but Sholly said officials "don't think," they are being largely affected by the the excessive rain.

"We've seen somewhere between 15 and 18 grizzlies in the last six weeks. Large numbers of bison and wolves, and as of right now we don't think the animals are being largely affected by [the floods] except there's no visitors currently watching them," Sholly said.

At the press briefing, Sholly confirmed that the floods seem to be "a thousand year event."

To put it into context, Sholly compared the water levels in the park to the last highest seen, in the 90s.

Yellowstone National Park Flooding
A house sits in Rock Creek after floodwaters washed away a road and a bridge in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. AP/David Goldman

"Cubic feet per second ratings for the Yellowstone river recorded in the 90s was 31,000 CFS and Sunday night we're at 51,000 CFS," he said. "So that gives you a bit of context of how big this was from the last major highwater event that the park had."

Around 2.5 inches of rain fell between Saturday and Monday, according to National Weather Service data. Rainfall was even heavier to the north, in Montana, where up to four inches of rain fell on parts of the Beartooth Mountains.

The northern area of the park is now the worst-hit area.

In an update issued on June 14, Yellowstone National Park said the northern portion of the park is "likely to remain closed for a substantial length of time," due to severely damaged infrastructure.

However, other parts of the park could reopen as soon as Monday.