Yellowstone National Park Bison Causes Traffic Jam After Taking Nap in Middle of Road

by Amy Myers

Visitors at Yellowstone National Park are pretty familiar with bisons crossing the roads. With a clear walkway that’s much easier on their hooves, who can blame them for using the asphalt as their paths? Typically, though, bison move in a steady (sometimes incredibly slow) herd towards their grazing destination. However, this bovine had a different idea in mind.

Like a cat on a sunny windowsill, he (or she, as both cow and bull bison can have horns) curled up on the two-lane road on August 3rd and rested his head. Thankfully, one lane of traffic could get past the enormous creature. Meanwhile, the other lane was stuck in a stand-still until the bison finished his afternoon snooze. One driver caught the sighting on video as they drove by Yellowstone National Park. The bison didn’t seem to care that he was on film.

Perhaps this bison knew that the following day would be Great American Outdoors Day, and he wanted to keep too many visitors from entering Yellowstone National Park. Or maybe he wanted a warm spot to lay his belly after eating a bad patch of grass. Even some Twitter users weighed in with their own theories on why the bison decided to nap on the road.

“Sometimes you just need that little power nap,” one user wrote.

“Our dog used to do this when her stomach was upset. She used the hot cement as a heating pad. Maybe it wasn’t feeling well,” another hypothesized.

Whatever the case, the bison reminded visitors that even though humans are frequent visitors of the park, these creatures are the primary residents of Yellowstone National Park.

Calf Rests on Yellowstone National Park Road Way, Cows Stay Close

Yesterday’s napping-bison sighting was one of many that Yellowstone National Park visitors see every day. In fact, back in May, a bison calf followed his elder’s hoof steps and took a snooze in the middle of the road while its herd tried to cross. Too tired to keep walking, the baby decided it was time for a break. According to KIRO 7 Seattle, this is normal behavior for Yellowstone National Park’s favorite residents. Whenever the bovines feel fatigued, they’ll pop a squat just about anywhere–even on a traffic-filled roadway.

Lucky for this little fella, the herd didn’t leave him behind. Immediately as the calf lay on the pavement, several cows surrounded him. Forming a protective shield, they weren’t going to let anyone (or any car) pass until the baby was ready to keep moving. So, with nothing else to do, drivers on both sides of the two-lane road had to wait until the tired calf had his nap. Once the babe finished his cat-nap, he and his entourage slowly made their way up the road.