Conservation groups, American Prairie Foundation and The Nature Conservancy get genetically ‘pure’ bison

Buffalo thought to be as genetically pure as the first herds of Great Plains bison will be seed stock for two nonprofit conservation groups.

It’s the first time since 1987 that live buffalo from Wind Cave National Park have gone somewhere other than to another park or an American Indian tribe.

The Nature Conservancy received 20 buffalo and the American Prairie Foundation received 16 animals culled this week as part of a management plan to keep around 400 head in the park.

Another 117 Wind Cave bison will be distributed to American Indian tribes through the Intertribal Bison Cooperative, park officials said Thursday.

The tribes and conservation groups receive the animals in exchange for paying the costs of the buffalo roundup on the 29,295-acre park in southwest South Dakota.

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