"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold




"LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE, AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER".....Albert Einstein


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Could These Bison Be Grieving?

In the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone we came across this bison bull that was clearly in distress.  His right rear leg was so badly injured that he could barely use it.  Cheryl and I looked at each other and we both felt he would soon be wolf food...


Within a few days there was a carcass near where we saw the injured bull.  Nobody knows how the bison died, or if it was the same one with the injured leg.  We did anticipate that it would draw scavengers so we began checking it regularly to see if we might find something feeding.  One day we saw a bison bull approaching the carcass...

 
He was soon joined by additional bulls...
 
 
They formed a tight circle around the dead bull, almost as if they were protecting it.  Their raised tails indicate a state of agitation...
 
 
I can't say what their intention was but this behavior has been documented by many others.  Some would say it is silly to think that wild animals grieve for members of their herd.  I will let the viewer draw their own conclusions.
 
I will close this post with an image of a young bison drinking from the Lamar River at sunset...
 
 
Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.

1 comment:

  1. Steve,
    I agree with you about not understanding why they were acting as they were when you photographed them, however for those who don't believe that animals grieve at the loss of others; well in my opinion they just don't know animals very well. I have a small cow/calf herd here on the farm and sell the calves each autumn. For three to four days after shipping the cows bawl incessantly and roam around the pastures looking for their calf. I have no doubt that wild animals are just as concerned about their families as are domestic ones.

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