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Life Lessons From Bison

April 15, 2022

Did you know that bison are our national mammal? Bison are without a doubt one of the most formidable and majestic animals out there. Although they were nearly wiped out in the 19th century, they have recently been enjoying a resurgence. Not only are bison being reintroduced to wild areas, more and more people are keeping them as livestock. As it turns out, we can learn quite a bit from these massive animals. Read on as a local Ruidoso, NM vet lists some life lessons from bison.

Go With The Flow

One thing that is truly remarkable about the bison is its ability to adapt to changing circumstances. They can thrive in absolutely brutal conditions, and can withstand blizzards and tornadoes without getting ruffled. That ability to act and adapt as needed is a crucial life lesson, and one that applies to people in all walks of life.

Live To The Fullest

We know, not everyone has the option of watching a herd of bison while sipping their morning coffee. However, we think everyone should experience this at least once. Start working on your bucket list!

Never Give Up

As mentioned above, bison were once hunted to the brink of extinction, but have made a remarkable comeback. There are now about 17 wild bison herds—roughly 10,000 head—throughout several states. That perseverance is something we can all take to heart. (Fun fact: Teddy Roosevelt was one of their biggest defenders. After seeing them on a hunting trip, he was so impressed that he enacted protections for them.)

Be In The Moment

Bison are truly captivating to watch. They may not be the most playful animals out there, but they are both graceful, and powerful, whether they’re running around or just calmly grazing.

Eat Lots Of Greens

We all know that veggies are good for us. Bison can also be a wonderful example of the importance of eating a proper diet!


Bison are continually on the move. (This is actually great for the land, as it prevents overgrazing.) Take time to explore new places, and try some new foods!

Have Fun

Bison may look imposing, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy themselves. Just like people, they like to play in the snow, relax in the sun, and hang out with their friends.

Our Advice on Life Lessons From Bison in 2024

How have bison adapted to survive in harsh conditions?

Bison have developed remarkable adaptations to survive harsh conditions. Their thick, insulating fur allows them to withstand brutally cold temperatures and blizzards, while their large, powerful bodies enable them to plow through deep snow in search of food. Additionally, bison have a strong herd instinct, which provides protection and social support. Their ability to graze on various grasses, even under snow, ensures they have a consistent food source. These adaptations, combined with their resilience and ability to migrate to more favorable conditions, have enabled bison to thrive in diverse and challenging environments.

What role did Teddy Roosevelt play in the conservation of bison?

Teddy Roosevelt was pivotal in bison conservation in the early 20th century. Recognizing the dire state of bison populations, which were on the brink of extinction due to overhunting and habitat loss, Roosevelt advocated for their protection. As President, he established the National Bison Range and other wildlife refuges, providing safe havens for bison to live and breed. His efforts, combined with those of conservation organizations, helped to initiate the recovery of bison populations, laying the groundwork for modern conservation practices that continue to protect these majestic animals today.

How do bison demonstrate the importance of a healthy diet?

Bison exemplify the importance of a healthy diet through their grazing habits, primarily consuming a variety of grasses that provide the nutrients necessary for their large size, strength, and energy. Their natural diet supports optimal health, allowing them to maintain their robust immune system and thrive in various environments. By selectively grazing, bison also play a crucial role in ecosystem health, promoting the growth of diverse plant species and maintaining the balance of their habitats. This behavior underscores the significance of a balanced, natural diet for overall health and well-being.

How do bison have fun, and what can we learn from this behavior?

Bison had fun and expressed joy through various activities, reflecting their need for physical and mental stimulation. They often engage in playful behaviors such as rolling in the dust or snow, known as wallowing, to maintain their skin health and for sheer enjoyment. Young bison can be seen running, jumping, and engaging in mock fights, which helps their development and social bonding. From bison, we learn the importance of integrating play and relaxation into our lives, emphasizing that joy and well-being are interconnected and that engaging in playful activities is essential for a balanced, healthy life.

What are some ways bison contribute to environmental health?

Bison play a vital role in maintaining environmental health through their natural behaviors. Their grazing patterns promote the growth of various plant species, enhancing habitat biodiversity. By moving constantly, bison prevent overgrazing, allowing grasslands to thrive. Their wallowing creates depressions in the earth, which become microhabitats for other species and help retain water, benefiting the ecosystem. Furthermore, bison dung is a crucial nutrient source for the soil, improving soil quality and facilitating plant growth. Collectively, these activities contribute to the health and sustainability of the ecosystems in which they live.

As your Ruidoso, NM animal clinic, we’re here to help! Call us anytime!