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The two RV Gypsies photographed wildlife
at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
in North Dakota
June 7, 2012

History bookThe buffalo (Bison) is the largest mammal on the North American continent. This magnificent creature is a member of the Bovidae or cow family and was given its name by the early French explorers who called them "Ies boeufs," meaning oxen. Throughout the years, the name went through several changes from "buffle" to "buffelo" and finally to its present "buffalo." Bison is the correct scientific and common name, but buffalo has been used and accepted for many years.

Bison are plant eaters. Though they generally have poor eyesight, bison have excellent hearing and a keen sense of smell. Bison reach maturity at seven or eight years of age and may live to the ripe old age of thirty.

In 1956, 29 bison were obtained from Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge in Nebraska and released in the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Here they roamed freely on 46,000 acres of park land. By 1962, the herd had increased to 145 individuals. Twenty of these animals (10 bulls and 10 cows) were shipped to the smaller 24,000-acre North Unit.

Though both units of the park can easily carry larger numbers of bison, park managers have currently set herd size at approximately 300 animals for the South Unit and 100 for the North Unit to maintain the range in a healthy condition.

Warning: Bison are wild animals and are dangerous if provoked. They can run up to 35 miles per hour and turn faster than a horse. Please view them at a distance from your car.

a really big buffalo at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
a really big buffalo at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
buffalo at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
buffalo at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
lots of buffalo at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
buffalo at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
lots of buffalo at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
buffalo at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
buffalo crossing the street
History bookBlack-tailed prairie dogs once ranged the Great Plains from southern Saskatchewan to northern Mexico. Originally named petits chiens, or little dogs, by early French explorers, these highly social animals are not really dogs, but rodents. They are members of the Sciuridae or squirrel family, closely related to ground squirrels, chipmunks, woodchucks and marmots. There are five different species of prairie dogs, but only the black-tailed prairie dog inhabit Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Prairie dogs are small, short-tailed animals with eyes and small ears set far back on their heads. Their light-brown fur blends well with the dirt of their mounds except when the animal has been blackened by burrowing into coal seams. Named for their bark-like warning call and black-tipped tail, prairie dogs average 14 to 17 inches in total length and weigh 1 to 3 pounds. With short, muscular legs and long-nailed toes on their front and hind feet, they are well equipped for a burrowing lifestyle.

a Black-tailed prairie dog at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
a Black-tailed prairie dog at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
a Black-tailed prairie dog at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
lots of Black-tailed prairie dog at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
lots of Black-tailed prairie dog at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
praire dog on the look-out
prairie dogs running back to their holes
The two RV Gypsies also spotted a few pronghorns at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
deer at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
deer at Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Look Below
Menu for the two RV Gypsies in North Dakota,
June 2012

Look BelowUSA map showing location of North Dakota

Below are eight (8) sections of the adventures of the two RV Gypsies in North Dakota. You may view them in any order you wish.

White Buffalo in Jamestown

Fargo, Walk of Fame, The Woodchipper

Enchanted Highway

Big Oddities

Theodore Roosevelt Nat'l Park

Rugby - the Geographical Center
of North America

The Painted Canyon

The International Peace Garden

Look Below

go to the next adventure of the two RV Gypsies AFTER you have seen all six (6) sections above, please continue on to Wibaux - The Gateway to Montana, plus Makoshika State Park - The Badlands of eastern Montana.