Our Animals

American Bison

Did you know?

The American bison was named the national mammal of the United States in 2016.

Size and Diet

American Bison are the largest land mammals in North America. They stand some 5 to 6.5 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh between 1000 - 2000 pounds. Despite their massive size, bison are quick on their feet. When the need arises they can run at speeds up to 40 miles an hour and jump up to 6 feet vertically. The hump between their shoulders is made of muscle and helps them push through deep snow.

Bison are ruminants, which means they have a multichambered stomach that allows them to digest grass and other plant matter. This suits them well as they are grazers that primarily feed on grasses.

Herd Behavior

Bison generally live in sex specific herds except during the mating season. Males will fight for breeding rights during the rut and females will give birth to a single calf 9 months later.

Common Name American Bison

Scientific Name Bison bison

Type Mammal

Status Near Threatened

Diet Herbivore

Geographic Range Found living in grasslands, forests and scrub forests in western South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. They are privately raised throughout the United States.

Life Span 12 - 20 Years

Offspring 1 - 2 Calves