The last of America’s remaining wild buffalo are being killed off at an alarming rate.
According to National Native News, Yellowstone National Park and Montana are responsible for the killing of at least 400 of the 1200 wild buffalo this winter.
While hunters are among the primary perpetrators, shockingly, so are the Yellowstone park rangers, wranglers, and biologists who routinely trap wild buffalo which they then load onto stock trailers that are headed to the slaughterhouse; basically, aiding in the killing of animals, while doing the service of the Montana Department of Livestock.
On Monday in Gardiner, as reported by the online news outlet, wildlife welfare organization, Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) volunteer patrols documented as five Yellowstone wranglers on horseback tried to trap fifty-five buffalo; all but one got away, running to the hills for their lives. The unfortunate mama buffalo who was trapped caught the attention of another family group of twenty-two buffalo. Coming dangerously close to the trap, they sealed their own fate as the wranglers, hungry to capture them, took advantage of the situation. Hundreds of wild buffalo are gone forever as a result.
Included among those killed and often found by BFC patrols, horrifically, are pregnant female buffalo with fully-formed babies in their mother’s stomachs.
While Yellowstone National Park does have the power to refuse to participate in the current Montana law, MCA 81-2-120, which unfairly puts the Montana Department of Livestock in charge of wild buffalo, it doesn’t.
As BFC coordinator Darrell Geist explained to EcoWatch last year, the state of Montana and Yellowstone National Park refuse to manage wild buffalo like wild elk, an alternative that uses the best available science that takes all changed circumstances into consideration, respects the animals and supports their freedom to roam on public land.
“Montana is blessed with an abundance of public lands but cursed by a statute that stands in the way of managing migratory buffalo as a wildlife species,” said Geist. “Few people know that MCA 81-2-120 is almost entirely funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to back Department of Livestock management of wild buffalo. Without American taxpayer funding, Montana and Yellowstone National Park would have to change their ways.
People are encouraged to continue to put pressure on Montana and Yellowstone National Park to change their outdated laws, decisions and management plans. Additionally, people are encouraged to contact their members of Congress to urge them to do their part to stop the funding, which in turn, sadly costs America the last of its remaining wild buffalo.
Source: National Native News Online, EcoWatch
Photo Credits: National Native News Online, Huffington Post, Coniferous Forest, Bismark Tribune