A crisp blue sky. The crunch of cloven hooves on fresh snow. Large brown creatures with woolly winter coats observing a 360 camera up close.
What’s it like to be in the middle of a small herd of meandering American bison in Yellowstone National Park? Get a peek with this 5K 360 video from Wildlife Protection Solutions, a non-profit that uses technology for the conservation of endangered species and ecosystems. Their 360 videos connect viewers with wild animals, rescue efforts, and more. From the caption:
“At an estimated 4,800 individuals, the herd in Yellowstone is the largest on public lands. his herd is also the only one in the US that was not fully extirpated and later reintroduced. Today there are an estimated 31,000 American bison globally, found primarily in a few national parks and nature reserves.”
In the last clip, a lone bison uses its head to clear snow from the grass below, a winter staple for the large animal. From WorldWildlife.org:
“The massive animals (weigh up to 2,000 pounds and can hit speeds of 40 miles per hour) feed on grasses and sedges year-round. When blizzards blanket the plains with deep snow, bison use their heads as a plow of sorts to push aside the accumulation and reach the forage below.
“And they make little fuss about the types of grass they eat, making survival a bit easier. They share habitat with other hooved species, including pronghorn, but tend to focus on different types of vegetation reducing competition…
“Imagine the highways bison created in the deep snow for other wildlife when there were millions of them. That would have made a world of difference for animals like pronghorn, which are not adapted for movement in deep snow.”