A place in the present, the Wildlife of the Badlands

While what’s most immediately striking about the Badlands National Park is of course the sheer stature of it’s rock formations, the more green parts of it, are home to a variety of beasts and critters alike.

The one everyone get’s excited about is the Buffalo, though no one there actually calls them that, they are in fact, Bison. But these Bison seem a lucky thing to see on your visit, as they alluded us during the greater majority of our time there. Buffalo, bighorn sheep, coyotes, prairie dogs, mule deer, rattlesnakes, turkey vultures, and grouse, all inhabit these 244,000 acres of Badlands.

In the rockier trails you can find a good deal of signage that suggests weariness of things like rattlesnakes, and across the whole park there is a stern advising to back away from any wildlife you might encounter. The phrasing was always such that you were supposed to fear the animals, rather than demonizing our human impact upon their lives, which was interesting and provided a distinct Jurassic Park feel.

In the daylight we only ever encountered a herd of Bighorn Sheep, situated at the top of a hill on the roadside. We later returned to this hillside for the sunset, and upon leaving the park at night, finally saw a Bison by the exit.

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