Crews have started rounding up bison around the edges of Yellowstone National Park again.
Montana Department of Livestock Director Larry Petersen said crews corralled and tested eight bison for brucellosis near West Yellowstone, Mont., Thursday.One of the animals, a pregnant female, tested positive for the disease. It was shot, and federal biologists intend to use it for research.
"She was put down on the site," Petersen said. "The balance all tested negative, and they were marked and released on public property."
Petersen said the corralling went off without a hitch. Crews simply left a trail of hay for the animals.
"We let them feed into the capture facility, and then we just close the gate on them," he said.
The plan is to ship all animals that test positive to slaughter. Pregnant females also will be killed. The others will be allowed to roam on public land outside the park until April 30. After that, the animals will be hazed back into the park. Buffalo that don't go will be shot.
The goal is to keep Yellowstone's bison from passing brucellosis to area livestock. The disease can cause cattle to abort, though there has never been a proven case of bison transmitting it to cattle in natural conditions.
Some West Yellowstone residents have vowed to protest future capture operations, though the testing corral is set up on private land outside the park's border, and the public isn't welcome to watch.
"All I know is that we're going to be their worst nightmare," said West Yellowstone's Donna Lane.
Several conservation groups have sued. A hearing on an injunction to stop the ship-and-slaughter program is scheduled for Nov. 26, said Greater Yellowstone Coalition's Bob Ekey.
"This is not a good way to manage wildlife," Ekey said. "It's outrageous."