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Yellowstone bison: Back into park due to brucellosis fears

State and federal officials plan to start pushing hundreds of bison back into Yellowstone National Park last week to make way for cattle that graze on surrounding lands in Montana.

A helicopter is scheduled to assist in the effort beginning in the West Yellowstone area.

Officials want to prevent any contact between bison and cattle to guard against the spread of brucellosis. Yellowstone’s bison periodically attempt to migrate outside the park in search of food at lower elevations during winter. But for the last two decades that migration has been blocked to prevent the transmission of brucellosis, from the bison to the cattle.

On the north side of the park, about 800 bison that were captured during that migration continue to be held in government-run holding pens. Many of those animals could be released back into Yellowstone last week, said park spokesman Al Nash.

State and federal officials plan to start pushing hundreds of bison back into Yellowstone National Park last week to make way for cattle that graze on surrounding lands in Montana.

A helicopter is scheduled to assist in the effort beginning in the West Yellowstone area.

Officials want to prevent any contact between bison and cattle to guard against the spread of brucellosis. Yellowstone’s bison periodically attempt to migrate outside the park in search of food at lower elevations during winter. But for the last two decades that migration has been blocked to prevent the transmission of brucellosis, from the bison to the cattle.

On the north side of the park, about 800 bison that were captured during that migration continue to be held in government-run holding pens. Many of those animals could be released back into Yellowstone last week, said park spokesman Al Nash.


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