Bison Factoids

This is Passport to Texas

You know that bison, referred to as buffalo by some, are big animals. In fact, they’re the largest land mammal in the US, with the bulls weighing in at two thousand pounds and cows half that much. They might be stocky, but don’t challenge one to a foot race—you’ll lose.

07— It may look like they’re big, huge, lumbering animals, but a bison can run 35 miles and hour; that’s pretty fast.

Donald Beard is park superintendent at Caprock Canyons SP, where visitors can view the official Texas state bison herd.

10—[bison grunting] They’re like people they have different personalities. You’ll have an animal that’s really curious and want to come up to you to see what’s going on. Then you’ll have some that want to stay back and don’t want to be a part of it. [ambiance at end]

The newly expanded bison enclosure at the park, allows visitors to get close to the animals—but if you get too close, the bison will let you know.

14—When they’re agitated, they will raise their tail into a question mark. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the saying ‘Let’s high tail it out of here?’ That came back from the 1870s when settlers would see those tails go up in that question mark; they knew it was time to get out of the way.

The park has plans to eventually expand the bison’s territory to encompass the majority of the park. Get more information about the Texas State Bison herd at texasstateparks.org.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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