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National Bison Month © Donyanedomam/Getty ImagesJoin Our GIFs Group
July is National Bison Month and we"ve chosen today to honor America"s official and largest land-dwelling mammal. The male American bison in today"s photo is lazing among wildflowers in Yellowstone National Park, the only place in the country where there"s been a continuous population of bison since prehistoric times. Once widespread across the American plains and revered by Native Americans, they numbered in the tens of millions. Tragically, settlers hunted the bison nearly to extinction by the late 1800s. Fewer than 1,000 of the giants were left in 1905 when the American Bison Society was formed to save them. These days, the population has stabilized with a little more than half a million bison spread across the country, with a few thousand living freely on the plains at Yellowstone.