Iconic Species of Genetically Pure Bisons Discovery Gives Hope for Restoration

Hope was restored recently about the future of wild bisons in the west when scientists discover a herd of wild bisons in this area sometimes ago. These wild animals were under threat as they were predated on by both humans and natural factors, which almost led people to believe the species, could not be brought back to roam the west again. This pure herd of bison were discovered in Henry Mountains, Utah.

Farmers have made effort to preserve the few bisons available before this discovery by interbreeding them with cattle. However this discovery changes everything and it brought hope along with it. In 1941, up to 20 wild bisons were moved down here from the Yellowstone National Park and they had multiplied over the decades, but certain factors prevailed against them. Up to 350 bisons were tested by scientists and they were all discovered to have descended from these 20 bisons.

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The idea of cross breeding the cattle with the bison actually started in the 1800s and the purpose was to create a unique species of animals that could live comfortably in the desert southwest land. These livestock farmers hoped that the wild bisons too would take interest in domestic animals to interbreed, but they were surprised to see the wild bison avoiding this and they kept to themselves for up to 70 years.

This new herd of bisons that were discovered in Utah were roaming and grazing freely with cattle, but they were not showing any sign of Brucellosis, which is a livestock disease that had been identified with bisons by livestock farmers over the years. Scientists hope that this discovery will enable them to restore the bisons back to this place they had occupied historically for decades. Re-establishing their presence here may not be immediate, but it is now achievable in all sense of the word.

(Via)