A bison has been struck and killed by a vehicle outside of West Yellowstone, Montana.
According to the Billings Gazette, two brothers (the 26-year-old and 17-year-old passenger, respectively) were driving on Tuesday night on U.S. Highway 191 in their 2005 Chrysler 300 when they struck an adult bison around 10:15 p.m near mile marker 3.8. Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Marcus Cook told the Gazette, “What happened is actually somewhat normal in this area … [Bison are] black on a black road.” From the Gazette:
“The vehicle’s pretty well smashed to bits. Luckily they were wearing their seatbelts and the airbags deployed,” Cook said. “No injuries at all.”
The brothers told Cook they believe they struck the animal in the rear, but he could not confirm it. Cook said that when bison are struck by drivers, asphalt tends to rip their hair off as they tumble down the road, making it hard to determine where the animal was struck by the vehicle.
Cook guessed that the 26-year-old driver was near the 65 mph night speed limit judging by the lack of skid marks and the fact that they were able to walk away from the incident uninjured. According to Cook, the driver was negotiating a slight left uphill curve when he struck the bison.
The vehicle came to a stop in the northbound lane, near where the bison came to rest in the southbound lane.
In the past month or two, Cook said MHP has responded to several incidents of vehicles striking bison in the area, including one instance where a semi-truck struck multiple bison.