The Wildlife of Yellowstone

According to the National Park Service webpage for Yellowstone, that park has the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states. After having just spent 5 days there, this fact does not surprise me at all. If you can manage to go through this glorious place and not see a half dozen creatures, you’re either blind or doing something very, very wrong.

Again according to the website, Yellowstone is home to bighorn sheep, bison, elk, moose, mountain goats, mule deer, pronghorn, white-tailed deer, black bears, Canada lynx, coyotes, grizzly bears, mountain lions, wolverines, and wolves.

Believe me when I say I had my eye out for the predators, especially when walking my little dogs, but I didn’t encounter any of those. (Not that I know of, anyway.) I did see bison, elk, and bighorn sheep, as well as chipmunks and squirrels. And although they’re not mammals, I was very impressed with the trumpet swans, the bald eagles, and the Canada geese as well.

You may have heard stories of recent dangerous animal encounters in this national park. Most of those could have been avoided if the humans didn’t act more stupid than the animals. You are strongly encouraged to stay at least 100 yards from any creature, or at the very least remain in your vehicle, but I saw that rule broken time and time and time again during my stay. Wild animals are just that: wild. They don’t know they’re in a park, and they don’t consider themselves as being on display for your viewing pleasure. You are therefore well advised to exercise a modicum of common sense.

What follows are some of the pictures I took during my visit. If I look as if I got too close, please realize my camera has a wonderful zoom feature. I want to live.

IMG_1081 IMG_1113 IMG_1092 IMG_0967 IMG_0981 IMG_1003 IMG_1010

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