Yellowstone plans to thin bison herd by culling 900

Updated: Dec 04, 2016, 13:54 IST | Agencies |

 Yellowstone National Park plans to reduce its famed bison herd by at least 900 head this winter

Yellowstone National Park plans to reduce its famed bison herd by at least 900 head this winter, culling stray animals outside the park in Montana by hunting and a program to round up and deliver wayward stock to Native American tribes for slaughter.

The annual culling, if it goes as planned, would mark one of the largest thinnings of the Yellowstone herd during the past decade. The park’s bison numbers have swelled to some 5,500 animals, well above the target population of roughly 3,000.

Animals that roam out of the park into adjacent state lands in Montana will be subject to harvest by licensed sportsmen and Native American tribes exercising historic hunting rights. But the majority will be captured live, then turned over to tribes to be slaughtered for meat.

Montana’s chief veterinarian, Dr Marty Zaluski, said park officials agreed on the goal of at least 900 at a meeting on Thursday. The controversial programme is designed to lessen the risk of straying Yellowstone bison infecting cattle with diseases.

No. of animals that the park could accommodate

Estimated no. of bison at present

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