Windows Into Wonderland
Three photos show an elk circled by a pack of wolves; an elk in deep snow; an elk near a herd of bison.
TV Guide showing the cast of characters back next
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Where the Bison Roam

Act 1,  Scene 4,  Page 24 of 47

When an ungulate’s teeth decay, the animal is no longer able to eat and digest food effectively. This leads to a weakened condition and decreases the animal’s ability to defend itself against predators. The accelerated tooth decay mimics the effects of old age! Researchers estimate that the ungulates living in thermal areas year-round shorten their life spans by as much as four years.

Inspector (cries out)
But what about Rosie? Did she find enough to eat? Did she survive the winter? Did she lose all her teeth?

Calm down, Inspector, I’m getting to that. En route Rosie encountered elk that were also using thermally influenced areas to migrate. A couple of times, there was competition over limited space, but our Rosie came out ahead every time. She arrived safely at the Firehole River after a journey of about 20 miles, or 33 kilometers.

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