Yellowstone National Park officials started trapping bison Monday as part of an annual effort to kill hundreds of the area’s iconic animals through hunting or shipment to slaughterhouses.
Government agencies aim to drive down the bison population by as many as 900 this year to reduce the mammals’ centuries-old migration beyond the park’s boundaries and into Montana, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported.
A plan calls for eventually culling bison in the park from about 5,000 down to 3,000.
Efforts to winnow the bison’s migration came after fears from Montana ranchers and landowners that the bison may vie with cattle for grazing space or transmit disease, according to the Associated Press.
About half of Yellowstone’s bison have been exposed to brucellosis, an animal disease that causes abortion in cattle, AP reports. There are no recorded cases of it moving from bison to cattle.
“There is recognition by both disease…
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