Yellowstone officials downplays rumors following video of animals fleeing national park
Thursday, April 3, 2014, 11:52 AM -
Is a massive earthquake upon us?
That's what some bloggers believe after a gang of bison was recently filmed running out of Yellowstone National Park:
The video, which was uploaded on March 20, 2014, has the internet buzzing.
Some have theorized that the animals can "sense" impending danger within the park and are trying to distance themselves from the area.
Those speculations were fueled even further when a magnitude 4.8 earthquake rattled the region Monday, making it the largest tremor the park has seen in more than 30 years.
But officials at Yellowstone National Park are quick to downplay the threat and have released a YouTube video addressing the rumors.
"We see between 1,000 and 3,000 earthquakes a year," says Al Nash, public affairs chief at the park, noting that while Monday's quake was extraordinary, it's "just part of the geological situation we find here in Yellowstone."
Nash says wildlife normally migrates to lower elevations this time of year in search of food.
"When the snow melts off and things start to green up, those very same animals will walk right back into the park," he adds.
Still, earthquakes have been making headlines lately.
On Tuesday, a magnitude 8.2 tremor slammed the Chilean coast, triggering evacuations and tsunami warnings, along with at least six reported deaths and several injuries.
But experts say there's nothing to be alarmed about.
"We don't think the earthquake frequency is increasing," Earth Sciences Professor Dr. Brent Ward told the Weather Network in 2012, following a series of strong earthquakes in early April.
"Generally, for the larger earthquakes, meaning eight and greater, we expect one to two every year. But, in the past ten years we've had as many as four, but several years we've had none. What's probably happening is that many of these destructive earthquakes are happening in populated areas. And so, they're getting into the news and people are hearing about them. Whereas in most cases, some of these earthquakes happen in remote areas where there's very little damage and we don't hear about them."