Archive for the ‘Bison’ Tag

The White Stuff   Leave a comment

Our National Mammal   Leave a comment

More

15 Facts About Our National Mammal

 

Posted June 17, 2016 by henrymowry in Photography

Tagged with , , , ,

Plowing   Leave a comment

Walking in the deep snow can be difficult. Bison use their strong necks to push forward and make a path, their shaggy faces keep them from getting too cold and they take turns leading the way. These adaptations allow them to thrive in the harsh winter conditions of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Photo by Jim Peaco, National Park Service. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 1/23/16.

Walking in the deep snow can be difficult. Bison use their strong necks to push forward and make a path, their shaggy faces keep them from getting too cold and they take turns leading the way. These adaptations allow them to thrive in the harsh winter conditions of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Photo by Jim Peaco, National Park Service. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 1/23/16.

Posted January 31, 2016 by henrymowry in National Parks

Tagged with , , ,

Sparky   1 comment

This is Sparky, one tough bison at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. In summer 2013, Sparky was struck by lightning on his shoulder hump. Not expected to survive at first, Sparky has thrived since his recovery. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 1/8/16.

This is Sparky, one tough bison at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. In summer 2013, Sparky was struck by lightning on his shoulder hump. Not expected to survive at first, Sparky has thrived since his recovery. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 1/8/16.

Can you imagine being struck by lightning? Sparky, a bison at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa knows exactly what it’s like! Sparky was struck in 2013, and is doing surprisingly well. We recently checked in with Wildlife Biologist Karen Viste-Sparkman to learn more about Sparky’s amazing story.

Sparky joined the herd at Neal Smith in 2006 after being transferred from the National Bison Range in Montana. As you may have guessed, Sparky earned his name after the lightning strike and is the only bison that has been struck at the refuge – although it does occasionally happen across the country.

Karen does regular checks on the bison to watch for signs of illness and check body condition. During a survey in late July 2013, she noticed a bull standing by himself. When she took a closer look through her binoculars, she noticed that Sparky looked bloody. This wasn’t entirely surprising because bison bulls will often fight during the mating season and July tends to be a prime time for injuries. Upon closer inspection, it was clear that Sparky had been burned over a large area. His hump was missing hair and there was a large lump on his hind leg, which must have been the exit wound, meaning Sparky was laying down at the time of the strike.

Sparky was thin after the strike and wasn’t expected to live long. Since a lightning strike is something that could easily occur in wild bison anywhere, the refuge let nature take its course. There are no natural predators in the bison area, so injured bison are monitored regularly and euthanized if they’re unable to eat or walk. Sparky was standing when his injuries were discovered, which was a promising sign. Karen kept checking on Sparky and was able to watch his wounds slowly heal. With a limp, Sparky kept walking.

At 11 years old and about 1,600 pounds, Sparky is a bit thinner than the rest of the bison, but he still stands strong. Before being struck, Sparky fathered three calves. Genetic testing will tell us if he successfully reproduced after the strike, but we’re hoping that he does because he’s one tough bison!

If you ever find yourself near Des Moines, stop by Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge and see if you can spot Sparky. He tends to spend his time just like other bulls – hanging out in small groups or enjoying some quiet time alone.

— Courtney Celley, Public Affairs Specialist, Midwest Region, US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Posted January 10, 2016 by henrymowry in Photography

Tagged with ,

Winter   1 comment

Animals   Leave a comment

Critters   1 comment

Spring Is For Babies   Leave a comment

Baby Bison   Leave a comment

The first baby bison of the year have arrived at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado. Last week four bison calves were born on the refuge. Here’s some cute pics of one of them with its mother. Photos by Tom Wall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 4/15/15.

Posted April 20, 2015 by henrymowry in Photography

Tagged with ,

Birds   Leave a comment

Posted January 11, 2015 by henrymowry in Photography

Tagged with , , ,

%d bloggers like this: