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Yellowstone blames sabotage for holding pen damage

Sabotage is being blamed for damage that allowed 73 of 96 bison being held in a Stephens Creek pen to be released. A criminal investigation is underway.

Fences were compromised sometime between 9 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday.

Park officials said most, if not all, of the bison remained in the immediate area and returned to the pen through the same illegal openings over the course of the morning.

The fence was repaired and re-secured by mid-day.

Park staff said the 96 bison, captured this past week, had not yet been processed or tested for brucellosis. Some would have been held for possible quarantine, while others would have been transferred to Native American tribes and shipped to slaughter.

Another act of sabotage occurred on January 16.

Park Superintendent Dan Wenk called it a setback for bison conservation.

“Creating a successful quarantine program will allow the transfer of live animals to tribes to develop conservation herds on tribal lands,” said Wenk. “The saboteurs are only ensuring more bison will be shipped to slaughter.”

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