Use caution when driving through Wind Cave National Park

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Officials are warning drivers to be cautious driving through Wind Cave National Park during the winter months. So far this season, three bison have been injured and one killed in collisions with vehicles traveling through the park. The recent crashes happened along U.S. Highway 385.

“Despite their size, these animals are very difficult to see on the park’s winding roads, all the more so at night or when visibility is poor due to winter weather,” said Vidal Dávila, Wind Cave National Park superintendent.

Animals such as bison and elk can be found on or near roads during the winter months where salt is tracked in by vehicles. The park does not salt its roads.

“Bison gather in the driving lanes, especially next to the cattle guards, where salt is most easily tracked in on vehicles,” said Dávila.

According to the park, an impaired or negligent driver may be fined for the death of an animal. The park has around 350 bison and 390 elk.