Government agencies to cull up to 900 Yellowstone bison

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Bison in Yellowstone National Park (Photo: Anna Roberts/WGN News)

BILLINGS, Mont.  — Government agencies aim to kill or remove up to 900 wild bison from Yellowstone National Park as part of an ongoing effort to reduce the animals’ annual migration into Montana.

Park officials on Tuesday released details of plans for 600 to 900 bison to be killed this winter by hunters or captured and sent to slaughter. That potentially would be the most in one winter since 2008.

Bison migrate annually from the high country of Yellowstone to their historical winter grazing grounds at lower elevations in Montana. Since the 1980s, worries over disease have prompted the killing of about 8,200 park bison.

Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk says the National Park Service is “uncomfortable” with the practice and would reduce the scope of the slaughter if bison could roam more freely outside the park.