“This is why you don’t need to drive after dark,” posts Dianna Borgmier to the popular Facebook group, Yellowstone Visitors. Alongside her caption is this photo (below) of a “Nissan Armada, a large vehicle” absolutely destroyed by a head-on collision with a park bison.
The Nissan hit and killed the bison in the accident. While this sort of thing is never something either a wild bison or visiting driver hopes for, the chances of it happening increase tenfold when driving through Yellowstone’s extensive roads at night.
“When they’re on the road and another car or truck is headed towards you, their brights on, and yours on your not going to see them until it’s too late. It’s like hitting a brick wall,” she continues. “Please be careful.”
“I know of 4 bison in the last few days. Way too many,” Borgmier laments. “The road is theirs.”
We Outsiders couldn’t agree more, Dianna. If only all tourists and visitors agreed.
According to Borgmier’s post, this specific aftermath was witnessed on July 3. The collision with the bison occurred the night prior near Yellowstone Lake around 10:30 p.m.
While we know the bison tragically did not survive, Borgmier does not offer any status on the Nissan’s drivers. We sincerely hope they survived and are well.
As for her knowledge on the situation, Borgmier tells For The Win Outdoors that her husband runs a vehicle repair shop “at the Fishing Bridge service area.”
“He has a lot of pictures from the last four years of bison hits in the park,” she tells FTW. This particular Nissan was towed directly to their repair shop.
Yellowstone Bison Collision
As of writing this article, no statement has come from Yellowstone National Park on the accident. The park has yet to issue information on how many bison are hit by visitors’ vehicles this or any year, either. Whether such annual numbers even exist is unclear.
On Dianna Borgmier’s post, however, the chatter is plentiful. Fellow Yellowstone visitors are astounded at this tragic occurrence – with over 100 comments coming in.
“At night it is near impossible to see a bison on the road,” one top reply reads.
Night driving is not uncommon in the park, as some of the roadways act as thoroughfares to traverse local areas. In addition, Yellowstone is open 24 hours – unlike some state and national parks that close at sundown. This, combined with a 45 mph speed limit, is a recipe for such accidents.
Yet there is no sure-fire way to avoid it. Yellowstone is home to the last remaining pure-blooded bison herds in America, with over 4,500 of the bovines in park borders. And as Borgmier points out – the lands at Yellowstone are theirs – and visitors are simply that: visitors. As such, fencing off roads from the bison isn’t an option. It is up to us humans to practice safe driving and ensure we’re vigilant when driving in any area where wild animals may be present. It could save their life, of course – but also yours.