Windows Into Wonderland
Four photos of show a hot spring, birds flying and a dead fawn in a hot spring.
TV Guide showing the cast of characters back next
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Where the Bison Roam

Act 1,  Scene 4,  Page 26 of 47

McAiry
However, one cold winter day, Therma and I learned just how fragile existence in a hydrothermal area can be.

We were working in Pocket Basin—a small area, tucked away in the Lower Geyser Basin. Suddenly, we noticed several scavenging birds circling a hot spring. We knew what was happening immediately. An animal had fallen into the scalding water, and the birds were trying to snatch a bite to eat. It was quite a spectacle!

Inspector (sternly and sadly)
Dr. McAiry, do I understand you correctly? Do you mean to tell me that you and Dr. Lee had no more interest in Rosie than to watch birds picking over her bones?

Therma (taken aback)
Oh, it wasn’t Rosie. Harry and I had no fears on that score!

Inspector (angrily)
And what made you so sure of that?

Therma (mildly)
Well, you see, the animal that had fallen into the hot spring was a vole. It’s a common enough hazard in Yellowstone. Wildlife of all sizes uses the hydrothermal areas for food and warmth. Sometimes animals break through the crust or simply step in the wrong place.

Glossary
scavenger—an animal that feeds on dead or decaying food scraps; scavenging (adj.)

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