Ted Turner Accused of Bison Grab

Plan lets mogul quarantine Yellowstone buffalo—and keep offspring
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2010 2:39 AM CST
Ted Turner Accused of Bison Grab
A group of bison block a lane of traffic in Yellowstone National Park.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, FILE)

(Newser) – Plans to give 74 Yellowstone buffalo a home where Ted Turner roams have sparked a fierce debate over wildlife policy. The billionaire has offered to keep the bison quarantined on his ranch for 5 years, as part of a plan to prevent the spread of the disease brucellosis to cattle. In return, he will be allowed to keep most of the offspring produced during that period—an estimated 190 animals. Critics say the plan amounts to the commercialization of wildlife that belong on federal or tribal lands.

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Federal officials warn that if the animals aren't moved, they will be slaughtered, to make way for more quarantined animals. But conservationist groups say they should have come up with a better plan long ago. "There’s land in Montana,” a spokeswoman for the Buffalo Field Campaign tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. “The alternatives are not Turner or slaughter. But that’s what we are being fed.” (Read more Yellowstone National Park stories.)

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