In one of the worst-case scenarios of the hazards posed by wandering, wild bison, more than a dozen of the big animals died, or had to be destroyed, after tangling with traffic just outside Yellowstone National Park this week. 

The Associated Press reported several of the bison were killed when they were struck by traffic on U.S. Highway 191 just north of West Yellowstone on Wednesday evening. 

West Yellowstone Police Chief Mike Gavagan said three cars tangled with the herd as they came upon them in the early evening darkness. One of the vehicles was a semi-truck and trailer, which collided with the animals.

Some bison were killed in the initial collision, while the others had to be euthanized because they were seriously injured in the collision. In all, 13 bison were lost in the incident. 

No one in the vehicles was injured, NBC Montana reported.

It was dark at the time of the crash, making it hard for the drivers to see the bison. The animals' eyes don't reflect light like deer do, contributing to the difficulty in seeing them on the road, officials said. 

A bison is one of the largest North American animals, with a bull bison weighing anywhere from 1000 pounds to just over a ton, with the largest reaching 6 feet tall. The bison cows weigh from 790 to 1,200 pounds.

Yellowstone National Park biologists say the central herd, which usually summers in the Hayden Valley, does migrate to the west and north during the winter to avoid the heavier snows in the interior, and that can take them toward West Yellowstone, where they can remain well into the calf birthing season in the spring. 

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