Native Village
Youth and Education news
December 2009  Volume 4
Quarantined Yellowstone Bison Still Homeless
Condensed by Native Village

The Yellowstone Insider calls it a miserable existence.

Some 100 bison have been quarantined for up to four years after wandering out of Yellowstone National Park. It was feared they carried brucellosis, a disease carried by bison and elk that can cause cows and cattle to become ill and miscarry. The state of Montana and cattle ranchers worry the bison will infect their herds.

Quarantining bison is a positive move in brucellosis management -- the government has been killing bison who may have come in contact with cattle outside the park.  More than 3,300 bison have been slaughtered in the last 10 years. Last year, 1,800 bison were slaughtered,

Science and the ranchers differ.  While ranchers claim a bison connection, research suggests it's very unlikely that bison can transit brucellosis to cattle. The more likely suspect is elk. But it's harder to slaughter elk: there's almost 10,000 of them, and they are less manageable than bison.

Montana is still looking for a home for the captive bison separated from their Yellowstone herd. Potential new homes include a ranch owned by Ted Turner, American Indian tribal land at Fort Belknap, and several zoos across the country.

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