This is a good reminder to give male bison a wide berth.
Every year in a few limited areas across North America, but mostly Yellowstone National Park, and Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, mating season for bison, also known as the bison rut or "bison bellows" is a fascinating time of year. In Yellowstone's bison population it starts around late July and continues throughout September.
Of course, the summer months are also when these parks are busiest with tourist activity. Some of whom do not give the free-roaming wild bison herd enough of a berth.
However, they should. Especially the mature bulls who often stand out due to their bellowing, and wallowing behaviors meant to intimidate rivals. Sometimes those rivals get a bit too close to another male's females. When that happens, some spectacular American bison fighting can break out. In the case of today's video, it is a rather one-sided affair.
In case one ever doubted the strength and power of a bull bison, this video demonstrates why you should never mess around with these animals. The bison breeding system is a violent time of year in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem and the smaller males at the bottom of the social ladder are frequently overpowered by the larger males.
The National Park Service notes on their website that once a male finds a female in the group, he will make aggressive displays including pawing, bellowing, and wallowing to frighten away potential rivals. When these displays do not work, a little bit of brute strength like we saw here seems to do the trick!
Keep in mind that a large male can weigh well over 2,500 pounds. That is a serious amount of power behind that attack! If you are planning a trip to Yellowstone to witness the bison rut for yourself, I personally recommend Hayden Valley, Lamar Valley, and some of the roads leading into Mammoth Hot Springs as ideal places to watch bison in the late summer months. Those are also good places to check out some geysers and possibly see a grizzly bear too!
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