Yellowstone bison

Some Escaped Bison Found Near Mammoth Hot Springs

Yellowstone National Park staff has found some of the bison that escaped from Stephens Creek through a cut fence.

This is the first group of bulls found since park staff began their search Tuesday, January 16, 2018.

According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, citing an announcement from Yellowstone, the bison were found near Mammoth Hot Springs. The announcement does not say how many of the escaped bison were found.

In addition, according to the Chronicle and the Associated Press, the National Park Service has said that “no effort will be made to recapture the bison unless they return to the holding facility.”

Earlier this week, we reported that 52 bison had escaped from the Stephens Creek Bison Capture Facility through a hole made in two pens. Reportedly, the hole was made with a bolt cutter.

Yellowstone has initiated a criminal investigation into the incident. Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued statements condemning what occurred.

The bison being held at Stephens Creek were part of a group being held in quarantine before being shipped to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in eastern Montana.

The same day of the bison escape, Yellowstone announced its annual closure of the Stephens Creek area for bison operations. Since 2000, Yellowstone bison have had their numbers reduced through hunting and slaughter under the Interagency Bison Management Plan.

Primarily, bison are managed for brucellosis, a disease livestock producers fear will spread to their cattle should bison be allowed to leave Yellowstone National Park, although there have been no documented cases of bison-to-cattle brucellosis transmission.

Prior to Tuesday’s incident, Yellowstone officials were working to convert part of Stephens Creek into a certified quarantine facility.

This story has been updated with additional information from the Chronicle and the AP.

About Sean Reichard

Sean Reichard is the editor of Yellowstone Insider and author of Yellowstone Insider For Families 2017.

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