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Bison, the rugged survivors of Northern Great Plains were nearly exterminated in the 19th century because of human activities. overhunting. The creatures’ highly profitable, heavy wool hides were fashionable for jackets, and the U.S. government also sanctioned their slaughter as a way to compel Native Americans, who relied on the animals for sustenance, onto reservations. Still listed as a “near threatened” species and considered “ecologically extinct,” bison no longer play a role in prairie biodiversity. Their survival today is largely due to dedicated, often Indigenous led regeneration efforts across plains.
Bison have only lived in the area that is now Canada since prehistoric times. Yellowstone National Park. The animals, which can reach 2,000 pounds in weight, have a thick undercoat of coarse hair that keeps them warm even at temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Photographer Drew Simms captured families of bison, along with other critters who frequent the area, in the stunning short film “-37°F in Yellowstone National Park.”
Simms captured images of steaming geysers and ice-coated minerals deposits, as well as sly coyotes and otherworldly scenes during the season, when up to 200-inch snow blankets the landscape.
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