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While driving in Yellowstone, which animals pose hazards?

The mountains, wildlife, thermal springs and other sights make a visit to Yellowstone National Park an unforgettable experience. Driving through the park can be great fun. But it is important to remember that the park's environment is not strictly meant to benefit human beings.

The park is populated by many different kinds of animals that roam freely. And although these animals share some of the park's space with people, they are wild, and many are potentially very dangerous. But if you stay in your car and keep a safe distance, you should be safe when viewing the animals.

So which of the park's animals should visitors be especially careful around? The National Park Service lists the following as animals you should never approach.

  • Wolves. While typically wolves do not pose a threat to humans, this can change if they are given food.
  • Bears. Bears are extremely dangerous. If you wish to view a bear along the road, stay in your car and use a pullout.
  • Bison. Bison are powerful and unpredictable animals. The NPS recommends that it is best to view bison from the safety of a hard-sided vehicle.

Other animals that roam the park include moose, deer, elk and big-horned sheep. When driving through the park, there is no telling when one of these large creatures may wander out onto the road. This is likely one reason the park's speed limit tops out at 45 mph.

But even if you do all in your power to obey park rules and drive safely, you may still have the misfortune of being involved in a collision with an animal. Such a collision could result in car occupants suffering serious injuries.

If you are ever in an accident with some form of wildlife, you will likely need to file a claim with an insurance company. Having a Montana car accident attorney represent your interests may help ensure that you receive the level of compensation you are due.

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