Travel Trivia: Bison or Buffalo?

During our cross country road trip, Bello and I both had to admit, we didn’t know if we were looking at Bison or Buffalo. Is that just a different name for the same animal? Two entirely different animals?

When Bello and I are both stumped, I figure there might be other travelers that are as well. So I’ve done a little research and the answer is…

Are Those Bison or Buffalo in Yellowstone?

Bison of Yellowstone National Park
Bison of Yellowstone National Park

Bison. The American Bison to be specific. It’s frequently incorrectly called Buffalo, but the species Buffalo resides in Africa and Asia. To be truthful, I think you’re pretty safe to call it either since Buffalo is a commonly accepted term for this beautiful beast in America.

Big Shoulders of the American Bison
Big Shoulders of the American Bison

I found my answer from this Live Science article. It’s pretty good for understanding the difference between Bison and Buffalo.

Facts About Bison

  • Custer State Park is home to one of the largest free roaming populations (1,300) in the country.
  • They hold an Annual Buffalo Roundup at the end of September. I know, Buffalo, no wonder we’re all confused!
  • The American Bison is our National Mammal, I definitely did not know that one before researching!
  • Buffalo or Bison Selfies are a VERY bad idea! If you’re close enough to snap one, you’re close enough to get whacked by the 1,000 lb animal right behind you.
  • Bison look sweet and slow, but they can move as fast as a horse. Yellowstone Park recommends standing at least 25 yards away.
  • If you’re watching a Bison, it’s watching you and it’s tail flips up. That’s a red flag, get moving!
  • Baby Bison are known as Red Dogs and if you look real close… you’ll see one here.
Buffalo of Custer State Park
Buffalo of Custer State Park

Two nights running, we drove out of Yellowstone to our hotel in Cody Wyoming. Our path took us along the Yellowstone River towards the East Entrance. A beautiful part of the park to spot Bison at Sunset.

Near Yellowstone River
Near Yellowstone River

If I get my facts wrong, please call me on them by commenting below. Cheers fellow travelers.

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