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13 bison killed while crossing highway near West Yellowstone

dead bison 191.jpg
Posted at 2:25 PM, Dec 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-29 20:23:37-05

WEST YELLOWSTONE - More than a dozen bison were killed on Highway 191 Wednesday evening.

West Yellowstone Police Chief Mike Gavagan confirmed Thursday morning that 13 bison were killed around mile marker 4 on the highway. A viewer who asked not to be identified sent a picture of the scene to MTN.

The police chief said one semi-truck and two other vehicles were involved. No one in the vehicles was injured.

Some of the bison had to be put down because they were so badly injured.

Gavagan said the accident happened around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. It was dark and bison are hard to see with their dark coats, and they do not have reflective eyes.

According to Gavagan, they are constantly trying to move bison off the road, and Wednesday night they were able to guide ten to 14 bison off the road that were still there.

He also said it was not necessarily speeding but there was some concern that driving too fast for the conditions was a factor. It's on a section of road that turns to head down the hill to the entrance to a transfer station.

Part of that road gets plowed and can be an easier crossing point for the bison.

The police chief said sometimes they can get someone to harvest the bison, but you cannot get a salvage tag for bison because of brucellosis concerns. In the past, they have asked the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, and they've taken some.

A Gallatin County sheriff's deputy, an officer from the West Yellowstone Police Department, an officer from Yellowstone National Park, and the fire chief were all involved in doing traffic control and helping get bison off the road after the incident last evening.