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North Dakota

The number of bison in Theodore Roosevelt National Park will drop from 700 to 400



Medora, North Dakota – Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota will see a gathering and reduction of its bison herd, with the animals being rehomed to several Native American tribes.

The “bison capture” in the park’s South Unit, close to Medora, is set to begin on Saturday and go on throughout the week. For concerns of safety, the operation will not be open to the general public.

The park intends to drop its 700 bison to about 400. The park is going to remove bison with varying ages.

According to Troy Heinert, executive director of the InterTribal Buffalo Council, bison that are relocated from the park will find new homes and fall under tribal governance.

According to him, the bison will boost the number of current tribal herds and offer genetic diversity. Bison will be given to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Hidatsa, Arikara, and Mandan Nations; more bison may be given to other tribes based on demography, according to Heinert, a Sicangu Lakota.

Before the bison are gathered, a helicopter will survey the area and count the number. The bison will then be herded into a holding area.

Deputy Superintendent Maureen McGee-Ballinger stated that the park alternates catches between its North Unit and South Unit each year in order to maintain the herd’s numbers owing to space and pasture constraints as well as for reasons related to the health of the herd.