Windows Into Wonderland
Three photos of a bison skull, a dead bison and a bison standing near a geyser.
TV Guide showing the cast of characters back next
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Where the Bison Roam

Act 1,  Scene 4,  Page 35 of 37

There is archaeological evidence that bison have occupied the Yellowstone region since shortly after the last Ice Age approximately 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. At that time, some bison lived in the central part of the park year-round because of the thermal advantages.

At the beginning of the 1900s, bison were hunted to near extinction. Finally, Yellowstone National Park was the only place in the lower 48 states where a population of wild, free-ranging bison remained. Fortunately, park managers took steps to conserve this animal. Their efforts proved so successful that by the 1950s, people grew concerned that there were now too many bison in Yellowstone! Managers worried that the bison were overgrazing the park’s Northern Range and damaging the hydrothermal features through trampling. The park’s staff began to actively reduce the number of these animals; between 1964 and 1968, more than 1,600 bison were eliminated from the park’s central herds!

Anyway, Inspector, to return to our story, it’s important that you know that we relocated Rosie a week ago in the Biscuit Basin.

archaeological—having to do with the science of studying prehistoric remains
extinction—the complete loss of a species
overgraze—to graze excessively

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