Watch bison block traffic in two videos… and one looks like a horror movie from a clueless director

Bison on road at night in headlamps
(Image credit: Kurt Schmidt)

Welcome to two videos of bison blocking the roads. And in only one of them does everyone do the sensible thing and just let the bison get on with what they're doing. In the other… well, let’s just say one of the drivers seems destined to be a future recipient of a Darwin Award

The first video takes place on a snowy sub-artic Alaskan road at night. Posted by Kurt Schmidt, it shows a herd of bison forced onto the road by “deep crusty snow” either side, then trapped between cars coming in opposite directions.

The bison are backlit by the full-beam headlamps of the car behind them, and amazingly, the car actually seems to be edging forwards, shepherd the bison onwards. Sure, this gives the whole scene the look of something out of a Hollywood horror movie, but it’s also A VERY IDIOTIC THING TO DO! 

As what happens next proves…

Realizing the way forward’s blocked, the bison turn around and head back towards the car with the lit headlamps. They vanish into the glare, and that’s when you hear ”CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CRUNCH!”

“I think they’ve trashed the car!” says he guy who’s filming.

And that turns out to be exactly what they’ve done, as we see at the end of the video.

The guy’s best move would probably have been to back away slowly. We’re pretty sure drenching them in full beam headlights isn’t the best bison safety advice.

Elsewhere in the second video, filmed in Yellowstone National Park last week, a couple of bison cause another small tailback, with, as poster Pete Thomas on For The Win, points out, one of them acting like a traffic cop.

But first, a calf dashes across the road like the worst kind of jaywalker. “That is the fastest bison I’ve ever seen!” says someone in the comments, though fully grown bison can run up to 35 mph, and we don’t think this calf has quite reached top gear yet.

After that, an adult female – presumably the mom – runs onto the highway and stood there, as if to stop the traffic and provide a safe crossing. Ever heard that old saying about horses bolting and stable doors?