It’s Tatanka Tuesday! This is a fun series of images I captured on Sunday. This bull and another were hanging out near each other and there seemed to be a bit of tension between the two (the day before I had seen them fight). This one, the larger of the two, decided it was time to show off and rolled on its back and side and thrashed around a bit.
This is called wallowing and Bison do this to deter flies and remove old fur. Perhaps in this case, they also do it to leave behind their scent and show their strength during mating season.
Earlier this year the American Bison became the official mammal of the United States – a very fitting and long overdue honor.
These massive animals were hunted to the brink of extinction in the 1700s and 1800s with as few as 750 reported by 1890. Their numbers have since rebounded with about 500,000 now living on public and private lands. Native Americans call them Tatanka, a Lakota word that translated means “bull buffalo.”