For Immediate Release:
November 25, 2003
Justine Sanchez (406) 646-0070
West Yellowstone, Montana - A lone bull buffalo was shot by agents of the Montana Department of Livestock at 9:15 this morning as he attempted to return to Yellowstone National Park.
The bull was hazed toward the Duck Creek Capture Facility through private property in the Duck Creek housing area. Agents were unable to capture the buffalo and shot him from behind as he fled toward the park across land owned by Dale Koelzer. Yellowstone Park rangers assisted.
Chris Mays witnessed the shooting, "The bull was less than fifty yards from the park boundary when the DOL opened fire. It took five shots to finally kill him and you could see him writhing in pain the whole time. There is no conceivable reason for them to kill bulls."
Bull buffalo are considered a "low risk" of transmitting brucellosis, the state's justification for the slaughter. There has never been a documented case of wild buffalo transmitting brucellosis to livestock.
Members of Congress took action to protect the Yellowstone herd earlier this month with the introduction of the Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act (H.R. 3446). The bipartisan legislation--which would stop the hazing, capture, and slaughter of Yellowstone buffalo--was introduced by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D) and Rep. Charles Bass (R) on November 5.
The Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) is the only group working in the field, everyday, to stop the slaughter of Yellowstone's wild buffalo. Volunteers defend the buffalo on their traditional winter habitat and advocate for their protection. Daily patrols stand with the buffalo on the ground they choose to be on and document every move made against them.
Yellowstone bison are members of the only herd with continuously wild ancestry on its native range. The herd is both genetically and behaviorally unique. Today's kill marks the start of the DOL's 2003-2004 slaughter season. Montana has killed more than 3,500 Yellowstone buffalo since 1985.