A video claiming to show a group of bison fleeing a potential super volcano in Yellowstone Park has been dismissed by officials, who claim the animals were just "frisky".
The clip showed the bison steaming down a road in the Wyoming national park, and fuelled fears that the ancient volcano beneath the park was about to erupt anytime soon.
According to the Metro, park spokeswoman Amy Bartlett said: "It was a spring-like day and they were frisky. Contrary to online reports, it's a natural occurrence and not the end of the world."
And, while some said the bison were "running for their lives", another park spokesman Dan Hottle told the Jackson Hole Daily that they are actually running toward the park's interior and the volcano, reports CTV News.
The footage emerged 10 days before a 4.8 magnitude earthquake hit the park, the strongest in 30 years.
But Yellowstone said it's normal for its animals to move around to find food at lower levels when there is no snow covering at this time of year.
Yellowstone is a national park located primarily in the US state of Wyoming, although it also extends into Montana and Idaho. Yellowstone, widely held to be the first national park in the world, is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful Geyser, one of the most popular features in the park.
The caldera is considered an active volcano. It has erupted with tremendous force several times in the last two million years. Half of the world's geothermal features are in Yellowstone, fuelled by this ongoing volcanism. Lava flows and rocks from volcanic eruptions cover most of the land area of Yellowstone.
But Peter Cervelli, a scientist with the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, said: "The chance of it [erupting] in our lifetimes is exceedingly insignificant."
Grizzly bears, wolves, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk live in the park. The Yellowstone Park bison herd is the oldest and largest public bison herd in the United States.
Yellowstone also has numerous recreational opportunities for tourists, including hiking, camping, boating, fishing and sightseeing. Paved roads provide close access to the major geothermal areas as well as some of the lakes and waterfalls.
During the winter, visitors often access the park by way of guided tours that use either snow coaches or snowmobiles.
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