"Mass Yellowstone Hunt Kills 1,150 Bison"

"A months-long event, just outside the park, was intended to keep the animals from spreading a disease to livestock. But its scope and other removal measures affecting hundreds more have generated opposition."

"HELENA, Mont. — An unusually harsh winter that buried Yellowstone National Park under a heavy blanket of snow and ice this year pushed a large portion of the park’s bison herd down to lower elevations and out of the park in search of milder climes and food.

Many were stopped from migrating even farther.

For four months, state and federal officials have sanctioned a hunt of the shaggy, humped animals that delight millions of tourists and are a centerpiece of Native American culture and history.

Officials said they had no choice but to approve the lengthy culling of the roughly 6,000-member herd as the animals instinctually cross the park boundary onto other public land primarily to the north in Montana’s Paradise Valley, but also west of the park. It is part of a strategy to prevent them from getting near livestock, because some 60 percent of the bison herd carries a disease, brucellosis, that could infect cattle and cause cows to abort their calves."

Jim Robbins reports for the New York Times with photographs by Michael Hanson April 4, 2023.

Source: NYTimes, 04/05/2023