Yellowstone National Park Reveals Average Number of Animals Hit by Vehicles Every Year in Warning to Visitors

by Amy Myers

With 67 species of mammals within its borders, Yellowstone National Park works hard to ensure the safety of its wild residents, but much of this responsibility depends on how visitors behave while traveling from one destination to the next.

Recently, Yellowstone National Park revealed just how many animals fall victim to a car’s front bumper. It’s disheartening to think that 75 large mammals lose their lives on the park’s roads, but unfortunately, this is how many bison, pronghorns, deer and other animals end up as food for scavengers. The park stated that the best way to protect these incredible creatures is to abide by the speed limit and keep an eye out for any crossing mammals and their young.

“Speed limits are 45 mph (72 kph) or lower in Yellowstone not only for human safety, but also to help protect wildlife,” Yellowstone National Park shared on Facebook. “Did you know that about 75 large mammals are hit and killed in the park every year? Help us protect the wildlife by following the speed limit and staying alert for animals crossing the road. You never know what will be around the next bend!”

According to Yellowstone visitors, road rules reminder is much needed. Many have seen first-hand the dangers of the park’s roads and its drivers.

“We have been in Yellowstone a little over three weeks and have seen three bad accidents where cars were totaled,” one visitor recalled. “Thankful none seemed to involve animals but these cars had to be flying to end up in the woods the way they did.”

Of course, among the most photographed mammals in Yellowstone National Park is the bison, but just as incredible are the bovines’ antlered neighbors.

On Instagram, the park reminded visitors and fans just how magical a moose sighting is.

“With fewer than 200 moose in Yellowstone, these solitary mammals are tough to see. Look for them in marshy areas along rivers or meadows,” the park shared.

Meanwhile, an often overlooked species that is always ready for a photo op travels on paws instead of hooves. Unlike moose, coyotes tend to hang out in drier, greener areas where they can find small rodents to hunt.

“Want to increase your chances of watching coyotes hunt in the park? Explore meadows, fields, and other grasslands in Yellowstone, where coyotes tend to forage for small animals, such as voles, mice, and rabbits,” the park advised. “Remember to give them room (maintain a distance of at least 25 yards) and use your zoom!”