Hundreds of bison that have been penned up for much of the winter rather than being allowed to follow ingrained migrational urges into Montana are slowly being released into Yellowstone National Park.
With spring slowly taking grip on the park, officials have been releasing dozens of the nearly 700 bison that have been corralled at the park's Stephens Creek Bison Capture Facility. Lower elevations around Mammoth Hot Springs have been showing enough forage to keep bison in the park, according to a news release.
On Saturday, 28 bison and 22 calves were released. On Sunday another 27 bison with 14 calves were released, officials said. Both groups moved south into the park when released. On Monday, 65 more bison with 31 calves were released back into the park, they added.
Park officials plan to release additional groups of similar size on a daily basis, depending on weather conditions and the activity of bison previously released. The plan calls for all bison that have been held at Stephens Creek to be released back into the park. No bison have been shipped to slaughter this winter.
For safety reasons, the area around the Stephens Creek facility is closed to the public when capturing, holding, and releasing bison.