Thursday, November 19, 2015

Yellowstone National Park proposes killing off 1,000 bison from its famed tourist attraction

Officials at Yellowstone National Park on Wednesday proposed reducing "its celebrated bison herd by 1,000 animals this winter by rounding up those wandering into adjacent Montana and delivering them to Native American tribes for slaughter," Laura Zuckerman reports for Reuters. "The longstanding but controversial annual culling is designed to lessen the risk of straying Yellowstone bison infecting cattle herds in Montana with brucellosis, a bacterial disease carried by many bison, also known as buffalo." More than 700 bison were culled last year. (Reuters photo by Jim Urquhart: A bison emerges after swimming across the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park)

"Yellowstone bison, the nation's last sizable herd of wild, purebred buffalo, are a top attraction for the millions of tourists who annually visit the park, which spans parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho," Zuckerman writes. "The size of the bison culling varies from year to year, and removing 1,000 animals this winter would mark the largest single reduction since more than 1,600 were taken from the herd in the winter of 2007-2008. The herd was estimated to number some 4,900 head this summer, and the culling—mostly females—is aimed at bringing it closer to its target population of about 3,000 animals."

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