Yellowstone bison could go to zoos, tribes, Utah

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Yellowstone National Park’s chief scientist says a decision is expected in mid-2015 on a proposal to capture and quarantine wild bison so disease-free park animals can be relocated to form new herds. (AP Photo/Robert Graves, File)
Yellowstone National Park’s chief scientist says a decision is expected in mid-2015 on a proposal to capture and quarantine wild bison so disease-free park animals can be relocated to form new herds. (AP Photo/Robert Graves, File)

Wildlife officials are recommending the relocation of 145 disease-free bison from Yellowstone National Park to tribal lands, a consortium of zoos and public lands in Utah.

The bison were captured last decade under an experimental program to start new herds using Yellowstone animals. They spent years in quarantine to make sure they weren’t carrying the disease brucellosis, which has caused problems for the cattle industry.

Seventy bison would go to Montana’s Fort Peck Indian Reservation and 35 to Oklahoma’s Cherokee Nation under a proposal from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

A consortium that includes the Bronx and Queens zoos in New York would receive 10 of the animals.

The remaining 30 would go to the Utah’s Division of Wildlife.

Montana wildlife commissioners will consider the recommendations on Thursday.

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