According to the Yellowstone National Park authorities, on Friday thirteen bison were killed after their herd was struck by a that involved the semi and two other vehicles on a Montana highway at night.
The West Yellowstone Police Department said in a statement that some of the bison that were hit died at the scene, and others that didn’t die had to be euthanized due to their severe injuries.
Police Chief Mike Gavagan said all humans inside the semi-truck and two other vehicles were not hurt, however, they are investigating the cause of the accident which occurred at 6:30pm on U.S. Highway 191.
U.S. Highway 191 is just north of the town of West Yellowstone which serves as a western entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
When the accident first happened, police said all three vehicles were involved with hitting the bison but then later reported that it was only the semi-truck that was.
They also added that speed may have been a factor in why the accident happened, even though “road conditions at the time would dictate traveling below the posted speed limit.”
Wildlife experts say that bison often congregate near the roadways or on them during the winter because it’s easier to navigate through when there’s a heavy snow.
The police department said the animals can be hard to see at night due to the dark brown color of their fur and because their eyes don’t reflect light as deer eyes do.
“We deal with wildlife being struck and killed on the roadways in our area on a regular basis due to the abundance of wildlife in our area and our close proximity to Yellowstone National Park,” the police statement said. “We are always saddened by any of these incidents, particularly when so many animals are lost.”