Grand Canyon Bison Are Out Of Control
Ellisha Rader Mannering
The Grand Canyon is being taken over by bison that park officials say are causing damage and unsanitary conditions. A large herd of 400 bison currently graze within the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park. This herd is actually made up of hybrids. Cattle and buffalo have been crossbred to create beefalo or cattalo.
The bison were introduced to northern Arizona in the early 1900s and those that currently live outside the Grand Canyon National Park are maintained by the state of Arizona. In the past a few of the bison would occasionally wander into the park, but now the entire herd is attempting to make their home there.
Although the bison are docile, they are extremely hard on the park and are polluting the waters with their waste, trampling plants and vegetation and destroying other areas of the park. The bison have gotten so out of control that Federal and state officials are trying to find ways to control them and remove them from the park.
If the bison population continues to grow, the park could be overrun with the animals. Relocating them to a location where they could be hunted would help control the population and protect the park from damage.
Several public meetings have been planned to discuss the possible options for relocating the animals and controlling the population. Birth control has not proven effective at preventing the animals from reproducing so rapidly and officials are hoping that the public may have some better ideas.
Officials from the National Park Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department and U.S. Forest Service are hoping to create a plan soon and to start relocating the bison and controlling the population by 2016.
What do you think is the best way to control the bison population and prevent the animals from damaging the Grand Canyon National Park?
Image via Wikimedia Commons