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Yellowstone begins capturing bison to reduce population

In this Aug. 3, 2016 file photo, a herd of bison grazes in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park in Wyo. (Matthew Brown / Associated Press)
In this Aug. 3, 2016 file photo, a herd of bison grazes in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park in Wyo. (Matthew Brown / Associated Press)
Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. – At least 96 bison attempting to migrate from Yellowstone National Park into Montana have been captured for potential slaughter under a program meant to shield livestock from disease.

Park officials said Tuesday the animals were captured under an effort to cull up to 900 of Yellowstone’s 4,800 bison this winter. Some of the animals could be relocated instead of slaughtered.

The population reduction program is intended to stop transmissions of brucellosis, a disease that can cause infected pregnant animals to abort their young.

About half of Yellowstone’s bison test positive for exposure, although there have been no recorded instances of bison transmitting brucellosis to cattle.

Montana wildlife officials said Tuesday that hunters have killed roughly 150 Yellowstone bison so far this winter.

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