Both White-tail and Mule deer are seen regularly on site. Badgers, raccoons and beavers are seen less often but can occasionally be seen near the wetland areas. Smaller mammals such as rabbits, ground squirrels, and skunks are seen more often.
The park has a small population of Black-tailed prairie dogs on the south side of the Arkansas River. There is a Prairie Dog Management Plan in place and a regular monitoring protocol. This species is the only mammal species that is actively managed by the park.
- Wednesday, September 9, 1846, Camped on the banks of the Arkansas 8 miles west of the fort.
Report of Lt. James W. Abert on his Examination of New Mexico -- "At night we had a serenade from a full choir of prairie wolves; they collected around our camp in great numbers, and broke forth in sudden bursts of their inimitable music. There are times when the wolf's howl sounds pleasantly,and again there are times when the spirits of desolation seemed to be conjured up by it."
Did You Know?
The first white woman didn’t arrive at Bent’s Fort until 1846, 13 years after its establishment. Unlike the Oregon Trail, the Santa Fe Trail was basically a freight road, men driving freight wagons. That started to change after the Mexican War when New Mexico became U.S. territory.