More Bison Illegally Released
Written by Andrew-Rossi on February 23, 2018
In a second incident in the last two months, bison quarantined at the Stephens Creek Facility in Yellowstone National Park have been released illegally.
Park Officials say that someone broke into the holding pen Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, allowing the escape of 73 animals that had been captured to prevent the spread of the wildlife disease brucellosis. 96 animals were in the fenced area at the time. Park officials say that most of the wild bison that escaped stayed nearby and eventually returned to the pen, which was repaired later in the day.
Bison captured as they leave the park during winter migrations are slaughtered or held in quarantine in order to test them for brucellosis, a contagious disease that can be passed to privately owned livestock.
Fifty-two bison escaped in a similar incident last month, in which an unknown person cut the fence to let the animals loose. Because of this second act of sabotage, Park officials say that they are reviewing security measures at the facility and will begin making improvements immediately.
Park Superintendent Dan Wenk said whoever broke into the pen was threatening the success of the quarantine program and ensuring more bison will be sent to slaughter. A new criminal investigation into this incident has begun.
In a related story, an environmental law firm is asking a federal judge to block the capture and hazing of bison north of Yellowstone National Park so that they can migrate further into Montana.
The Cottonwood Environmental Law Center said in a legal complaint filed this week that the capture program poses a safety hazard because bison hunters from American Indian tribes use the same area.