Are animals fleeing Yellowstone because of coming catastrophe? No.

This is causing people to panic unnecessarly. Take a breath and do not believe the hype you see on the internet. There is no imminent danger.

I saw this story on 5 of the sites I listed as no-go-to sources: Before It’s News, RT, WND, Info Wars and Epoch Times. The story seems to have originated at Epoch Times. This Australian news site takes it from there.

Reports bison ‘fleeing’ Yellowstone amid fears quake could trigger eruption of park’s supervolanco | News.com.au.

Bloggers and survivalists have posted videos online they say show the park’s bison “running for their lives”, reports The Epoch Times.

Worried blogger Jay Lee posted video of a herd of bison he says were “running for their lives” down a Yellowstone road, and warns humans should take notice.

Two. Two bloggers and a lot of reverb. And as I can demonstrate, neither of their concerning observations are anything unusual.

The video shows a decent number of animals in row cantering down the (correct) side of the road. How does he know what they were running from? “Running for their lives” is a bit of an exaggeration. In fact, they run like this rather frequently. Maybe they are running from hunters who illegally shot some earlier in March, or wolves, or bear who are emerging from hibernation. It does look weird but they didn’t look panicked. What about other animals? I don’t see elk and bear running. Or rabbits. Are birds leaving? No mass exodus noted. That would be something that would be more widely reported. The Yellowstone NPS page shows no panic, no drama, no earthquakes, no eruptions imminent. That silence is known as a “news blackout” to the conspiracy-minded. To us, it’s known as “nothing doing.” Other ideas for the manufactured drama are that it’s related to the solar flare eruption or Jesus Christ’s imminent arrival.

While Epoch Times reported on one blogger pontificating about the running of the bison, they cite another who remarks on the “missing” elk. Their numbers are claimed to be a bit low. Are they leaving because of imminent DOOM? Probably more like disease and predators because this in fact does happen periodically, nothing suspicious about it. The “survivalist from Ohio” speculates they sense something “vast and deadly”. Excuse me if I don’t think his hypothesis of bison behavior is all that credible.

There is no doubt this is fed by last week’s earthquake there, a 4.8 magnitude, the largest recorded there since February 1980. But what that means, it’s not clear. The quakes in Yellowstone are related to the huge magma chamber underground. Yellowstone is a capital ‘S’ Supervolcano, not a pipsqueek mountain like Mt. St. Helens. Seismic activity is up recently but, again, that’s not anything unusual. The recent bigger quake was in an area of uplift scientists have been watching for a while.

Recent seismic activity at Yellowstone.

Recent seismic activity at Yellowstone.

I know the idea of an erupting supervolcano is scary but we also must realize we put things onto our framework and that may be completely incorrect. We start to see patterns where there really are none. I’m not saying that animals don’t sense environmental changes, because they do, but there is no reason to attribute the manufactured drama of two rather normal observations into something to panic about.

Bison run. Quite a bit.

Bison run. Quite a bit.

Addition: National Park Service rumor control video.

COMMENTING ON SOMEONE ELSE'S SITE IS NOT A RIGHT, IT'S A PRIVILEGE. READ AND UNDERSTAND THE COMMENT POLICY BEFORE SUBMITTING. NONSENSE IS NOT PERMITTED.

  81 comments for “Are animals fleeing Yellowstone because of coming catastrophe? No.

  1. busterggi
    April 2, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    For animals fleeing in panic they seemed awfully mellow.

    • alisha
      April 4, 2014 at 2:52 AM

      The sad thing is my children are scared. There dad is working on the oil fields 6 hrs from us and they want him home because there afraid there going to die without him. Iam scared i live 2 hrs from yellowstone. How do i explain to my kids that this is fake news? We all know it will erupt again one day but i feel like packing up and leaving.

      • andrea
        April 4, 2014 at 12:37 PM

        Simple, you tell them exactly what you just wrote. It’s not real. It’s the internet.

      • April 7, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        If you’re gonna move because of the threat of Yellowstones super volcano erupting you better move far. Far as in some other continent because when/if it happens its gonna kill everything in North America.

    • David O'Silverman
      April 4, 2014 at 4:26 AM

      Not so much running for their lives as sauntering for their safety :-D

  2. Justin Smith
    April 2, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    On the YouTube you posted showing that the animals frequently run like that, a) some of them are walking, and b) there is a truck driving behind them at the end.

    I’m not a conspiracy nut, and I don’t think some “super volcano” is about to blow. Just pointing out the flaw in your video.

    J rock.

    • April 3, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      It’s not my video. And the video is not at all unusual.

      • David
        April 3, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        The video going around of Bison “Fleeing” yellowstone is so obviously faked that it’s just sad …. First, the bison are all off visually compared to the image characteristics of the rest of the video … they are “too real” and obviously cgi added … To support this, if you watch the bison running they are all casting a shadow to the right of the frame onto the road but NOTHING ELSE in the video is casting a shadow like that … not the big bushy tree things, bushes or TALL YELLOW POLES on the side of the road. If this video were real with the sun in the position it needs to be for the bison to cast a shadow the way they are all of these other things would be casting shadows from left to right onto the edge of the road in the frame as well.

        • Wait... WHAT!?
          April 3, 2014 at 5:14 PM

          At first I was like…. Ja Ja Ja… Listen to the “photoshop nut”! There’s always one post about something not “being real”…
          But then I rewatched it…. And you sir, deserve all the points! You are absolutely, undeniably, unequivocally CORRECT! The best way to see it, is when they come into and go out of frame. Those are the hardest points to match up correctly when placing objects into a scene!
          These aren’t even REAL ANIMALS!!!! 0.o

          • Allen
            April 4, 2014 at 1:47 AM

            Even from the still shot I could tell it was CGI just from the shadows alone. At 00:14 you can see a CG shadow glitch pop in from the first bison. There are no shadows from any of the poles. But the biggest flaw which nobody has mentioned is the Audio. There is clear audio of some kind of tapping but it’s obviously not the footsteps of the bison. Why can we not hear any footsteps as they pass? We can hear the car engine and something tapping, so audio is obviously clear. We should definitely hear some footsteps as they passed, the bison foot is a solid casing in structure just like a horse foot and considering their weight there would be quite a loud trotting sound on audio, but there isn’t.

        • Chris
          April 3, 2014 at 7:48 PM

          Good on you for pointing out the shadows! I re-watched it and did not see any shadows either. Totally faked.

        • Emily
          April 3, 2014 at 7:50 PM

          I thought I was the only one to notice this. Thank you.

        • Jon
          April 4, 2014 at 11:02 AM

          You know that snow reflects light right?

    • Jerry
      April 3, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      Some of them are walking? What does that have to do with anything? Unless he stated that animals always run all the time, that’s a flaw in your argument. Also, are you saying they are running away from a truck? haha

    • Jan
      April 3, 2014 at 5:54 PM

      What truck did you see “BEHIND” them? I didn’t see ANY vehicle BEHIND them. Just the one driving in the opposite direction. And a trot is NOT a walk. And if you looked Way in back towards the end of the line, you can tell they are coming out of the mountains. Something’s up, but what?

  3. mr_ranger
    April 3, 2014 at 12:05 AM

    As someone who lives and works in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, all I can say about the “mass exodus” is this: It’s spring! Animals migrate in spring. The snow is melting opening up more areas for bison to eat, since feet upon feet of snow accumulate in Yellowstone, restricting their food resources in winter. In Jackson, WY, we have an elk herd with a population of 11,000. They spend their winters on the National Elk Refuge but when the spring melt occurs and things “green up” they will actually move north towards, yes towards, Yellowstone National Park (they’re starting to move that direction as we speak, albeit very slowly), and so will many other animals…you know, because snow melts, green grass grows all-around all-around and they fatten up for next winter. I know earthquakes around the Yellowstone super volcano are fun and dandy and getcha lotsa web hits but there will be far more earthquake activity before another catastrophic eruption occurs. If the elk reverse course, pronghorn stay in Pinedale, and migratory birds never arrive (which some already have), then yes, you’ll have my full attention.

    • Christina
      April 3, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      I applaud your reply mr_ranger

    • Omnibeing
      April 3, 2014 at 3:59 PM

      Also let us not forget we have an unusually cold winter this last year. Snow melts slower then, and plants will not grow. So this “strange behavior” could be merely the natural reaction to such a season/winter.

  4. Haley Howland
    April 3, 2014 at 1:38 AM

    Here is the thing you are missing in this article, both birds and Elk are also leaving the area as well. Along with large numbers of bears and wolves dwindling. I’m not saying the volcano is going to erupt, but I am saying that they are traveling hundreds of miles from their normal grazing and hunting areas. This is not typical behavior of any of these species.

    • April 3, 2014 at 9:39 AM

      WHERE is the evidence for this? There isn’t any.

    • scott
      April 3, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      The Wolves are migrating out of the park. There are no fences to keep them in. As the population grows they have to expand their territory to find food. There are re reports of Wolves from Yellowstone showing up in central Colorado.

    • mr_ranger
      April 3, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      There’s a very good reason why people aren’t seeing bears right now. They’re still hiberating! A handful of grizzlies have emerged from their dens in Yellowstone but it’s a mere fraction of the black bear and grizzly population.

    • Elle
      April 3, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      Animals migrate.

  5. eddi
    April 3, 2014 at 4:59 AM

    I ran (oops) across this yesterday. I assumed April Fool article. Looks like like I was both right and wrong. Fools in April, but not April Fools.

    Info Wars; your definitive source for the weirdest in woo-woo. We report, you freak out.

  6. April 3, 2014 at 5:01 AM

    I live near the Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks. For those who have never been here, the two parks are joined. I was in the Tetons this past weekend. I saw moose, deer, mountain goats and birds of various types. They all seemed normal as usual. In fact the two moose were calm, eating and walking along so slowly that I got some great photos.

    I’ll be in the parks a lot this spring and summer like every year, so if I observe anything strange, I’ll come back to this story and leave another comment.

  7. John
    April 3, 2014 at 5:07 AM

    The reason I don’t care about the buffalo running down the road? Because they’re CGI. The shadows don’t match the lighting at all, and the motion tracking is slightly off. It’s clearly a mid-day overcast scene, and the shadows should be very soft (probably almost imperceptible) and directly below the animals, not hard shadows off to the side. If the buffalo shadows were real, we’d see similar hard shadows coming off the poles and bushes on the side of the road.

    • joel
      April 3, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      and there feet are not actually making contact with the ground not to mention there is no sound of them running past but you can clearly here the camera operator

      • Apple Cinnamon
        April 3, 2014 at 10:55 AM

        Yah, cause we all ride down the road in the winter freezing cold with our windows rolled down so we can hear hooves hit the pavement. >.>

    • Jon Jay
      April 3, 2014 at 10:12 AM

      Exactly! CGI yet when I say this to people, I’ve been blocked from commenting further on posts. LOL :)

      • Travis
        April 3, 2014 at 4:01 PM

        That is a real video, I’ve seen buffalo running down roads at least 3 times in Yellowstone, there shadows don’t prove anything if you want anybody to think it’s C.G.I. than your gonna have to come up with some better proof I watched this on my big screen and the shadows are all the same even from the bushes you just can’t see them very well because the road slopes down on either side so the bush shadows are on the downward slope!!! Good thought though I think people are just freaking out because of the earthquakes last week which aren’t uncommon they were just bigger than usual and people that don’t know Yellowstone think everything is weird or crazy or even C.G.I. if your just watching a video… maybe you people should take a trip to Yellowstone I bet that will disprove all of the computer animation theories I bet none of you have seen any real wildlife up close or you people wouldn’t be surprised at the site of them…

        • Lexey
          April 4, 2014 at 11:08 PM

          [removed ad hom comment - editor]

          I don’t have time to waste reading through all the comments, but to my knowledge, not a single person has claimed that buffalo don’t run down the roads in Yellowstone. We know they do.

          Firstly, the quality on the video is only 340p, so big screen or no, the resolution is hardly good enough to sort of see something maybe on the other side of slope if you squint and turn your head. If you look at the markers along the road, they’re clearly on the edge of the pavement, not set back by more than a foot or so. The shadows from the buffalo follow a 38° to 41° angle, meaning that their shadows are approximately as long as they are tall. Following this logic, if the light source for the buffalo was universal as opposed to an image-based effect, then the poles’ shadows should cast a shadow approximately 6′ to 7′ long across the road (based on their height relative to the buffalo running by and the average height of a buffalo: 60-73 in). As you can see, they do not.

          Secondly, I spent the last four years in Emporia, KS near the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, home to a fairly large wild buffalo colony that wanders around the nature trails there. My best friend in high school lived next to a buffalo ranch. I don’t have to live near Yellowstone to have seen buffalo herds in person on multiple occasions, nor does my lack of proximity to Yellowstone cause surprise or suspicion when I see videos of them running alongside a road, behavior fairly common to nearly all livestock.

          [removed snide remark - editor. There was no excuse for that.]

    • NewworldMind
      April 3, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      Nice call

    • delinquint
      April 4, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      I’m uncertain why anybody would take the time and effort to manufacture a video of something so common. Really? Bison running? WEIRD! As an area resident of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem for over twenty years I have seen these animals run (for whatever reasons) so many times that…hang on a second…YAWN…I can’t even be bothered to pull a camera out! Those of you who insist on discovering a fabricated video ask yourselves…why?

  8. David
    April 3, 2014 at 6:06 AM

    Nice to read some sense on this topic. There are good records of animals fleeing impending eruptions and earthquakes, but always more than one species – not just a herd of chilled bison taking the highway. I watched the YouTube video of Tom Lupshu posted on RT.com with some amusement – the idea that the US Geological Survey is suppressing information is improbable. If you go to http://earthquake.usgs.gov/ and follow the links you can download a high-resolution seismicity map of the western US up to 2012. There is also a live-earthquake link. USGS maps do not have earthquakes below magnitude 3.5, but that is probably because many such small tremors are human-induced: construction, mining, quarrying, fluctuating water levels in reservoirs, and traffic can all induce tremors. I also think it is improbable that Mr Lupshu’s “retired geologist” (unnamed) could have his own seismometers. A decent instrument would cost about £10,000 (say $16,000), and you would need at least three to tell you anything useful. As a working geologist, I do not know any retirees who could afford this – of course you guys are much richer than us Brits! Anyhow, good job Sharon.

  9. Brenda
    April 3, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    I read several reports on-line after doing a Google search, and nearly all of them mentioned the bison leaving, along with “other animals”. Did you find any details about the other animals that were supposedly leaving? I didn’t. Maybe the bison were looking for a change of scenery and nothing else.

  10. Tom
    April 3, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Despite the all the natural mass animal killings in the recent and distant past there are people who still think animals prescient, that they”know” before disasters occur.
    If that were really the case why didn’t those animal populations that died quickly find a place of safety, or is the “gift” only bestowed upon a favoured few.?

  11. isaac
    April 3, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    The exact location this video was filmed was 44, 57’37.09N and 110, 40’55.33W (google earth it) and the bison are running south Ttorward the caldera.

    • April 3, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      How do you know?

      • Isaac
        April 3, 2014 at 4:45 PM

        I work in YNP. The area is very close to office in Mammoth Hot Springs. If you look up the coordinates, you can easily match up the crags on the side of Seplechur mountain.

    • Deb
      April 3, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      I’m curious how you know the coordinates of the video. Do you know the area?

  12. Cyndie
    April 3, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Interesting stuff. The animals thing sounds like spring migration to me as well. However, *someday* the volcano will erupt, no? It’s active. It’s been what, 640,000 years and it’s supposed to erupt something like every 600,000 or so? Not sure why people discount the possibility of it erupting, even though animals migrating might not be a sign of anything, but can anyone say that NO, this thing will NEVER erupt? Just something to have on the radar, just in case. Can we survive that? If so, we should at least have a plan…

    • Geologist
      April 3, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      Yes, the Yellowstone volcano is still active, and has been for at least 16 million years. The estimated recurrence interval of Yellowstone eruptions of 600,000 years is the lower estimate by the USGS, based only on three eruptions. That’s not a very big dataset from which to find an estimated average. In fact, according to http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/yellowstone/yellowstone_sub_page_54.html, they estimate its recurrence interval to be 600,000 to 800,000 years, so we are barely into the estimated time frame.
      I have read a little bit of some (still unpublished, as far as I know) research done by a well-respected professor at my university that suggests, based on subsequent lava flows, that the next eruption is at least 10,000 years in the future.

  13. April 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    i wonder if its faked in any event… (first of all bison DO run, a lot) however none of the brush are casting any shadows… none of the poles are casting shadows… but the bison are.

    in addition you get a lot of noise of the person filming (breathing, etc) but no noise of the herd running…?

    • Mike
      April 3, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      I agree, Absolutely none of the Foliage is casting a shadow, not even the few Evergreens in the video, seems unnatural that these Bison are casting Prominent Shadows but nothing else is. I’m not one to call fraud, but I think that someone decided to take advantage of the fact that YellowStone recently had a medium-minor earthquake and someone seems to be taking advantage of the Hype.

  14. Retired Ranger
    April 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Isaac is correct about the location. I am a retired park ranger who worked in that area for 15 years, and drove that particular piece of road on a daily basis. He is also correct that the bison are travelling into the park not away from. This isn’t CGI. Why bother the expense of CGI when you can shoot footage of real bison trotting nearly any day of the year in Yellowstone. They are wild animals and as such often trot or run when the mood suits them. Perhaps there are predators such as wolves near by, perhaps they were frightened by a photographer on foot trying to get too close. Maybe they just felt like running (it happens). That is the nice thing about being a wild animal, you can do whatever the heck you decide to do. Bison, elk and other animals are always on the move. In winter they often move to lower elevations (often away from the Park) in search of food that is easier to graze (less snow pack at lower elevations). This video is of bison running, trotting heading in a South Easterly direction in the Vicinity of Mammoth Hot Springs near the Gardiner River High Bridge. The steam from Mammoth Hot Springs can be seen on the terraced hillside in the background in the upper left. The shadows from the bison are in correct location showing the Sun to be SSE and so this is a morning scene. The commentator who worried about hearing the hoofs fails to consider that it is winter being filmed from inside of a moving vehicle from the passenger side. Also bison don’t wear horseshoes so you wouldn’t hear a monty python style coconut shell clipity clop sound if you had the windows open anyway. It is amazing the attention you can get from filming animals doing something innocuous and put a spin on it to support your own agenda.

    • Mike
      April 3, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      CGI is not expensive, matter of fact any amateur video editor can create a close realism CGI in a matter of minutes, Not saying that this isnt possibly legit, but the Bison shadows do seem a bit too Prominent compared to the surrounding area…Like I said before, Seems some one is taking advantage of Natural Phenomena to build hype, probably just to make a name for themselves.

    • ROOS
      April 3, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      “It is amazing the attention you can get from filming animals doing something innocuous and put a spin on it to support your own agenda.”

      THIS.

    • Linda
      April 4, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      Thank you for your info. it makes the most since, now I’m not so worried.

    • LJ
      April 5, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      Thank you retired ranger for a balanced perspective

  15. Mary Ann Newton
    April 3, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    I visited The Black Hills of South Dakota with family and friends and inadvertently set-off a small buffalo herd stampede just by laughing out loud. They are rather skittish – like deer and antelope – and if one decides to trot outta there, they all follow. I have done lots of research on the Yellowstone Caldera. It is due to erupt and will erupt most likely at some point, but it is only 40,000 years overdue.

  16. RevGonzo
    April 3, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    Having lived in and around the park (Gardiner, MT) for about ten years, I can attest to this being normal behavior for the bison at this time of year. All this apocalyptic noise being generated is just that, noise. Yes, the park is essentially one large volcanic caldera and, yes, it has blown out on a grand scale in the past BUT sources such as have been pumping this story should be viewed with scepticism. When both the University of Utah seismic folks (who run the monitoring of the park) and the Park Service start talking about serious scientific evidence of an imminent eruption, I’ll pay attention.

  17. MrBigDilloftheBigSky
    April 3, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    I live in Billings, so I’m basically within seeing distance of the mountains around Yellowstone. People are using the fact that Elk are leaving Yellowstone, which is there natural habitat of thousands of years, and that is something to worry about. Fact of the matter is, the elk and other animals are leaving due to the pressure of the reintroduced and exploding exponentially wolf population. Elk were originally plains animals. This being due to the fact that they could escape predators easier on the plains. Once men moved in, killed all the predators in the mountains and pushed all the elk off the plains, the elk got use to the easy living up there. They couldn’t be hunted by anything, there was plenty of forage and it was well suited for their needs. But now that the wolves are back, elk have no choice but to push back out of the mountains. I’ve been seeing evidence of this weekly these last few years during my many adventures about the state. I’ve seen elk now getting hit on the interstate just outside of Billings here because the wolves are pushing them so hard. So to be clear, the only death sentence the elk are fleeing from originating in YNP is that of the wolves.

  18. Mike
    April 3, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    I was the airport the other day and there were herds of Elk and Wolves waiting on standby for tickets to Florida. Clearly this is a sign that the Supervolcano is going to erupt.

    Seriously people, the earth’s clock works on geological time which our lives exist as less than a second. Even our best scientific minds cannot properly predict an earthquake or volcanic eruption. Animals leaving the area could be for thousands of reasons and not just because we have a supervolcano eruption coming.

    • Polly
      April 4, 2014 at 6:22 PM

      Hilarious!!!!

  19. jonathan
    April 3, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    i think we all have been had as a big april fools. i invite everyone to look at the video at 0:07 and pause the video there. look at the animal on the left, and look at the legs. there is an odd displacement by the legs: the area around the animal is displaced and out of focus. all of the animals have this….this is a fake video

    • Omike
      April 3, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      Indeed. Looking closely your can see how they have a ghostly hivering trot over the land, all of them…

  20. April 3, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    Actually, I just read another article on this and it stated that there were in deed many other animals ‘fleeing’ such as elk and rabbits.

    I’m not saying you are wrong, nor am I saying that you are right, but I thought that I would point that tidbit out to you regarding your statement that it was only the bison who were ‘leaving’.

    • April 3, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      You’ll have to have better evidence than “another article said” because it is more likely hype.

  21. Benjamin Perry
    April 3, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Thank you for this article. When I first heard about this, I have to admit I was genuinely concerned that it could be true, but I sensed that the American media was jumping the gun. I read your article and noticed that you answered and asked the important questions. It’s too bad many forms of American media can’t be trusted and someone living outside the country has to do some digging. If it was true, its a very serious situation and has very serious consequences. Thanks again.

  22. Ken DeVries
    April 3, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Here is the original source for that video – note that the uploader specifically states that they are running DEEPER INTO THE PARK, not fleeing from it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiexHmbJlp4

    The whole panic story is completely bogus, and was based on Epoch Times’ quote of dubious speculation by “blogger Jay Lee” whose tatoott1009.com website is some kind of crank masterpiece. You can’t even tell what it’s about. Tabloid news sites took the story and changed the headline from “are they?” to “WHY are they?” The answer to the first is no, they are not. The answer to the second is, they are not.

  23. Scout
    April 3, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    I have lived and worked in Grand Teton National Park and have spent lots of time in Yellowstone as well. Geologists have long stated that a 10 inch rise in the ground was one alarm for an imminent eruption of the caldera, and the dramatic increase of helium-4 is another. However, there is certainly no distress in the buffalo depicted in this video. Some things people should keep in mind:
    1) Winter in Greater Yellowstone lasts into June. During Memorial Day weekend, there is typically 4-7 FEET of snow on the ground in the southern half of Yellowstone, although the northern half and the Tetons thaw more quickly. In 2012, it snowed every day of Memorial Day weekend and three days in June.
    2) During winter months, buffalo use the roads as an easier way to go from place to place in search of grass to eat. In February or March, grass is pretty scarce and has the nutritional value of cardboard.
    3) When buffalo move from once place to another without distress, they typically either walk or trot in single file. In fact, buffalo made most of the original trails over the Appalachian Mountains which Indians and settlers used for human migration to the fertile Ohio River valley region prior to the colonial era.
    4) You can detect the distress a buffalo feels by watching its tail. The higher they lift it away from their bodies and upward, the more nervous they are. In the video, most of their tails are unseen because they are hanging limp in a sign of calmness. The ones that can be seen are clearly limp. These buffalo are not running for their lives and are not distressed at all.
    5) Buffalo frequently leave the parks at this time of year in search of grass to eat. If they fail to return to the park by a specified date in MAY, they are open game for ranchers to shoot, on whose land they trespass in search of grass. This has traditionally been a source of controversy in the region. The ranchers are concerned that the buffalo will infect their cattle with brucellosis.
    6) Jackrabbits went extinct in the region a few years ago. No one knows why.
    7) If the eruption of the caldera was imminent, there would be a lot more species than buffalo running around.
    8) If the buffalo were running for their lives, they would not be moving in a single file but would be running full tilt (about 40 mph) en mass, a pace they have the endurance to maintain for hours if necessary.

    • Richard Cornford
      April 3, 2014 at 6:56 PM

      That point about how the buffalo are holding their tails seemed easily tested/demonstrated. I recalled a recent-ish nature documentary in which a pack of wolves are filmed chasing a herd of buffalo, and found the footage on youtube pretty easily:-

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCG1I-Ssgww

      The buffalo’s tails in that footage are noticeably raised, and when they run they easily outpace the ones seen in the video in the article (despite the fact that they are running in snow rather than on a road).

      • Scout
        April 5, 2014 at 11:47 AM

        Buffalo raise their tails to demonstrate distress from any quarter. Bulls have their tails raised high during the rut (mating season) (late July to early Sept) when confronting each other. They also get skittish if stupid humans approach too close to take photos of them. Not only will they raise their tails high but if in extreme distress they will defecate as well. So the next time you’re in Yellowstone, walking up to them, taking their picture and they do that, you are literally scaring the crap out of them! And then they will charge you. They run three times faster than most humans and the bulls can jump six feet in the air over a fence. They gore people every year in that park.

        On the other hand, Yellowstone is gonna blow for sure — any millennium now.

  24. Barlion
    April 3, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    Although I do not believe an eruption is about to happen soon there has been an exodus of multiple species lately and seismic activity has been increasing over the past few months. This has all been reported by officials from Yellowstone. This just shows you how a story can be manipulated in either way. With omitting info here and there you can spin a story in whatever direction the “journalist” wants. Even this story here doesn’t have all the facts right.

    • April 3, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      In fact {wink} it does. I note that the increased seismic activity happens frequently. There is a swarm of quakes and then it calms down for a while. So the increase may well be nothing special either. I’m not spinning the story. I’m saying the evidence the two bloggers gave is homeopathically weak. The body of evidence would say there is nothing worth worrying about (in the short term).

  25. radioredrafts
    April 3, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    Was there something keeping the buffalo in the park?

  26. April 3, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    Aren’t Bison naturally “nomadic” to begin with? Traveling in decent sized herds and moving from place to place on their own?
    I’m no expert, but it looks like THAT’S exactly what they’re doing. No biggie.

  27. Char
    April 4, 2014 at 1:58 AM

    I was there in March 1982 and they were hot-footing it out of there then too. Looking pretty thin and hungry to me. Buffalo and elk included.

  28. Lynn Cadugan
    April 4, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    Video shot and published on March 14 2014 by Leo Leickie and shows buffalo running into the park not out of it. http://www.snopes.com/critters
    Don’t be fooled by rumor mongering morons! April fools joke

  29. Hudson
    April 4, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    I lived in Yellowstone for 30 years. Anyone familiar with the area knows exactly where this is.

    This is typical spring behaviour. No one can predict the next big quake. Earthquake swarms are common. We have better seismic equipment than we’ve ever had before. These swarms were common in the 70’s, but we didn’t have the information highway to talk about it. Swarms run in spurts.

    I’m more afraid of pesky tourists returning in droves than I am earthquakes.

  30. PAS
    April 4, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    Time to worry would be seeing different types of animals (bears, mountain lions, elk, rabbits, deer, etc along with the bison) all making a bee line.

  31. Heather
    April 4, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    Maybe it’s not going to happen for another thousand years, but this video was taken recently of elk running in WY also.
    http://dailypicksandflicks.com/2014/02/10/elk-herd-crossing-a-road-video/

    • April 4, 2014 at 6:55 PM

      Elk crossing a road — they do that all the time.

    • Scout
      April 5, 2014 at 12:04 PM

      This happens all the time. Elk, being the primary prey of wolves, are far more skittish than buffalo. When crossing a road, they will congregate on one side for a while until they feel safe enough to go, then they will all run across as a group.

      Although traditionally a plains species, elk today mostly find viable habitat in mountainous regions such as Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Rocky Mountain National Park and Pike’s Peak. They tend to stay at higher elevation during the summer months for the sake of protection from predators and because forage is available then, but descend to lower elevations during winter months while forage is scarce.

      Buffalo, when crossing a road, will saunter up to it leisurely. They will often congregate ON the road and take their time about crossing. Sometimes a big bull will act as traffic cop, standing in the middle of the pavement and staring down motorists who are waiting while cows and calves cross, then finish walking across themselves.

  32. John
    April 5, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    I have heard from enough sources that the bison are running into the park that I believe it. It’s not like they’re running in a panic run either. This is more of a, “Hey let’s run!” run.

  33. Diana
    April 7, 2014 at 1:23 AM

    Whether it’s real or fake, bison fleeing in panic or looking for food, I find it interesting they are using the highway to get where they want to go.

  34. Adriana
    April 9, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    Poor thing limping at 0:38-0:40 : (

  35. ApexDisorder
    May 4, 2014 at 12:51 AM

    As mentioned before migrations of animals is a fact. Why not take the path of least resistance.

  36. CJ
    May 20, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    I just got back from Yellowstone from being there over the weekend. I took a spontaneous trip up there with a friend who had never been up there before. I actually hadn’t heard of any news about the animals before I went up. I actually noticed that there was pretty much no animals whatsoever up there. There was a buffalo by itself in a wide open area which I thought was strange. Everytime I have visited as a kid and teen we always saw tons of animals. I saw 3 deer the whole trip and they weren’t even in the park. I see more deer in neighborhoods in the suburbs of salt lake from where I’m from. I told my friend to look up online where the animals are in the park and that’s when we read all the news of them migrating. I was very shocked and the desolate park. It is so much different from when I was a kid and in my 20s. It is still an absolutely beautiful park but something is obviously wrong.

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