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Three Bison Injured in Hunt Near Yellowstone

bison
Travis Smola

Calf and two cows flee into National Park’s boundaries after being shot.

Controversy over Yellowstone’s bison herd continues after three bison were injured in a hunt north of the park on Friday.

Montana Public Radio reports a calf and two bison cows were injured near Gardiner. However, before the hunters could recover the animals, they backed across the border into Yellowstone. Because hunters are not allowed to pursue animals that cross the line, the hunters needed to call in the rangers.

“It’s unfortunate but it does happen,” Yellowstone Ranger Brian Helms told Montana Public Radio. “It happens with other species throughout the year, as well, too.”

The rangers went into the park after the animals and managed to locate them, putting them humanely down afterwards.

It’s likely the news of the injured bison will just add to the debate over Yellowstone’s bison. The herd has been in the news for the past month for multiple reasons. At the end of December, Montana Governor Steve Bullock made a decision to allow bison to leave the confines of the park and graze in Montana.

The move was met with criticism from Montana ranchers concerned about the spread of the disease brucellosis.

Earlier this month, Yellowstone officials revealed plans for a cull of 600-900 bison that fell under fire from several different groups including the Buffalo Field Campaign. The cull was deemed necessary by officials since the bison can’t be moved under federal law.

The details of the hunt or hunts that led to the injuring of the animals aren’t clear, but Montana Public Radio reports the bison were shot with firearms. It seems rangers are deeming it an unfortunate byproduct of being so close to an area that can’t be hunted.

“It’s just the nature of the beast hunting that close to a national park boundary,” Helms told MTPR.

NEXT: Bill May De-List Wolves from Protection in Great Lakes, Wyoming

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Three Bison Injured in Hunt Near Yellowstone