Cades Cove Buffalo Herd Stampedes through the valley. Millions of visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park were treated to a very special surprise. The largest herd of buffalo in the south eastern United States, over 2,000 strong, were recently released from a nearby holding facility. The herd wasted no time reclaiming their historical range in the Smoky Mountains.
“We are thrilled the buffalo have returned to the safety of the National Park,” said park official G. Howie Lyes. “No living person has had the privilege of viewing the buffalo in the their historical natural habitat until now!”
Park officials warn visitors that bison can be extremely dangerous and should never be approached by the public.
“A ten ton buffalo can ruin your day in a hurry,” said wildlife resource manager Harry Chin. “We discourage park visitors from attempting to take selfies with bison, elk, bears or any other large animals in the mountains!”
Bison roamed the southern United States for thousands of years until hunted to extinction in the mid eighteenth century. The Smoky Mountain herd descended from a surviving western herd in Wyoming. The herd is expected to increase the biodiversity of the Smokies and help control invasive plant species via grazing.