By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily
Although thousands of pounds of rotting meat coming from drowned bison may not sound like the most appetizing of meals for humans, it’s a gourmet dining experience for bear, wolves, and other carnivores.
Warmer temperatures in Yellowstone unearthed the bodies of seven bison which were unable to make their way out of a frozen pond during the winter.
The National Park Service last Friday dragged the thawing animals from the pond into a special “Bear Management Area,” where animals could enjoy a free meal.
Wildlife videographer Rob Harwood captured the excavation, noting that the practice isn’t uncommon in this particular area because the pond is close to a road.
“Moving the food source further away from the road allows the bears, wolves, and other scavengers to get their meal without the chaos of crowds of onlookers,” Harwood said.
He did wonder, however, why seven bison were moved when only four of them were next to the road.
“Removing the other 3 carcasses seemed a bit absurd,” Harwood said. “I usually have NPS’s back when they make wildlife management decisions because I know they have an impossible job, but I’m having a hard time seeing the sense in this one. Disappointing, for sure.”
The Park Service did not answer a direct question from Cowboy State Daily about the additional three bison choosing to answer instead in generalities.
“Last week, several such carcasses appeared in close proximity to the road and they were moved to different locations for traffic and visitor safety reasons. In this area, there are few turnouts for parking and limited visibility around curves in the road,” Public Information Officer Linda Veress said.