Bison are often mistakenly called Buffalo, however, they are two different animals. The Cape and Water Buffalo are found in Africa.

The American Bison can stand 6 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh over a ton. Despite this large size, they can run at speeds approaching 40 miles an hour, faster than a human. They are the heaviest land animal in North America.

The large hump behind a Bison’s head is a giant muscle used to swing their head back and forth, helping them clear snow to reach the grass below.

The American Bison became the National Mammal of the United States in 2016.

Click HERE for a Bison Activity Sheet!

Our Current Residents

Bert, Male - Born 2017

Bert came to ZooMontana in 2018 after suffering a broken leg. Although healed, a limp kept him from the wild as it would have hindered his ability to evade predators.

Nellie, Female - Born 2018

Nellie was donated to the Zoo in 2019 by a private ranch in central Montana. Named for her nervous tendencies, Nellie has acclimated quite well to her new home.


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Cetartiodactyla
  • Family: Bovidae
  • Genus: Bison
  • Species: bison

Animal Facts

  • Herbivore
  • Threatened
  • Grasslands, plains, Rivers & Streams, Scrubland/Forest, and Tundra
  • Diurnal

Our Animals