The wildland urban interface often leads to stories about suburbanites encountering animals they might not expect. Recently in the Chicago region: a bison free in the northern suburbs.
One resident in Hawthorn Woods recently captured footage of a buffalo out and about, just walking around. Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time one has been spotted roaming the region.
Vince Clemens noticed the giant animal outside his home Friday, and his daughter, Michelle, captured video of the buffalo just minding its own business.
“I looked outside and saw the buffalo walking down the street,” Vince Clemens told NBC 5. “[She] broke free from a farm months ago, and is no stranger to people in the Northwest Suburbs…”
The wayward animal’s identity hasn’t been confirmed, but some wonder if its “Tyson the Bison.” Tyson escaped last September while being unloaded at her new home at a farm in unincorporated Wauconda.
More Americans may be much more familiar with seeing bison in captivity, such as in the zoo as in the picture above. They do not expect them to wander through suburban yards.
However, bison were regulars in the Chicago region prior to settlement by white Europeans. See these maps from Wikipedia (and the zoo has a similar map):
While bison will not be roaming the suburbs in large numbers anytime soon, suburbanites seem consistently surprised by coyotes and other animals that do not fit their suburban experiences or images. Yet, as the suburbs continue to mature – the Chicago area suburbs are over 150 years old – and nature continues to adapt, the suburban flora and fauna will change.