August 2014 – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Photo taken by Vasiliki Papacharalambous
In North America, both “bison” and “buffalo” refer to the American bison. Generally, “buffalo” is used informally; “bison” is preferred for more formal or scientific purposes. Early European explorers called this animal by many names. Historians believe that the term “buffalo” grew from the French word for beef, “boeuf.” Some people insist that the term “buffalo” is incorrect because the “true” buffalo exist on other continents and are only distant relatives.
Yellowstone is the only place in the United States where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times. The largest bison population in the country on public land resides in Yellowstone. It is one of the few herds free of cattle genes.
Even though the animals of Yellowstone seem tame they are still wild. Feeding the animals is not permitted in any way, and all visitors must keep 100 yards away from wolves and bears, and 25 yards from other animals.