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Continued: Bison may soon roam on Minneopa prairie

  • Article by: TIM KROHN , Mankato Free Press
  • Last update: March 24, 2014 - 9:04 PM

The bison wouldn’t need much in the way of supplemental feeding, she said. Nutritionally, they get along fine, even in the winter, foraging for grass.

“But at Blue Mounds we give them some big round bales [in the winter] to keep them happy. They say a content bison doesn’t touch the fence.”

Bison are very resilient and susceptible to few diseases. They, like cattle, sheep, deer and antelope, can get Johne’s (pronounced “Yo-Nees”) disease, a bacterial disease that affects the small intestine. But while the disease is relatively common in dairy herds, bison are less susceptible to it.

Minnesota Zoo veterinarians monitor the Blue Mounds bison and any new bison introduced to a herd are tested for any diseases first.

Nelson said there is no specific cost estimate to bring bison to Minneopa, but there is funding identified through Legacy Amendment proceeds

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  • Minneopa State Park’s expansive prairie could become home to a bison herd if approved by the Department of Natural Resources.

  • In this Feb. 2, 2014 photo, Yellowstone bison forage for grass in the snow near an icy Madison River in Mont. Yellowstone National Park ended shipments of wild bison to slaughter for the winter on Friday, March 7, 2014 after almost 600 were removed in an effort to shrink the number of animals that cross into Montana during their annual winter migration. (AP Photo/The Billings Gazette, Lloyd Blunk)

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