Welcome to Wood Buffalo National Park. No, We Don’t Have Any Buffalo

You would think that since it’s the biggest national park in North America, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to the world’s largest inland delta and the only population of whooping cranes on the planet (for half the year), the people who named the place would have made sure not to call it anything stupid and inaccurate, right!?

That’s what I thought when I first heard about the park, but after deciding to go to a friend’s cabin out there over the weekend and being asked if I was excited to see bison while I was there half the time and buffalo the other half of the time, I decided to check things out for myself to see what the deal was (cue compulsive need to research things).

This search turned out to be quite enlightening for me and kind of embarrassing for Parks Canada. Apparently when the park was founded, no one bothered to look at the bovidae that lived there closely enough to realize what their actual species was, and ended up mistaking bison for buffalo. When the mistake was realized, I guess everyone thought changing the name of the park would require too much paperwork or something and decided to keep it for the mistake it was.

** Only if he was the adoptive father

** Only if he was the adoptive father

After learning the difference, it turns out that buffalo and bison are pretty different! With this, I’ve made it my personal mission over the summer to teach as many people as possible the difference between the two! To help my cause over the Internet, I’ve condensed the differences into a convenient little table for you:

Buffalo Bison
Size 1800 – 2600lbs (super massive) 700 – 2000lbs (moderately massive)
Likeness to Quasimoto Neither humpbacked nor French Humpbacked, but still not French
Coat Sleek and fabulous all year long Light and breezy in the summer, full-on parka in the winter
Horns Crazy curly Small, but still devilishly murderous, need they be
Hometown West side North America and Poland Asia and Africa
Embarassing Profile Pic  images  78885

Summary: I wanted to talk about how I went to a cabin, but then got sent on a bovidae-themed tangent.


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